Metsä Board Magazine – Spring 2024




Getting to know the carbon handprint

Reducing pharma’s carbon footprint with material optimisation

360° collaboration in workshops


Can you tell which has a lower impact on the climate?



Board Magazine


Sustainable Solutions “As a responsible material supplier, itʼs our job to provide pharma brand owners with accurate and unbiased information that helps them evaluate packaging materials.”

Anne Uusitalo, Product Safety and Sustainability Director, Metsä Board


Muoto TM is changing packaging design. Carbon capture has great potential for energy production. Protecting biodiversity in mill areas. EU tackles deforestration. Certifiably compostable paperboards. Promoting assured and transparent sustainability reporting. page 4

CUSTOMER STORY Haleon aims for zero emissions. page 8

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS A lower carbon footprint for pharma packaging. page 16

CLIMATE ROADMAP The road to fossil free mills. page 20






What’s in store for e-commerce? page 28

Mixed forests are the future of

Co-creation work- shops are the key for improved packages. page 22

forests. page 32


Product portfolio and Metsä Board in numbers. page 35




FOCUSING ON CLIMATE IMPACT Carbon handprint, carbon footprint, lighter packaging solutions, lower energy consumption – all these actions are for the climate. page 10

Preparing for the changing climate requires collaboration

The climate is changing. If we want to leave this planet to future generations in a better shape, we all need to play our part. At the same time, we need to prepare for the future. At Metsä Board, we’re taking several meas- ures to mitigate climate change. One of our targets is to generate zero fossil-based CO 2 emissions in our production or the energy we purchase by the end of 2030. Simply claiming you are doing the right thing isn’t enough. You need actions and data to prove it. We have a detailed road­ map towards our climate target that describes the completed and planned investments and their impact on reducing our emissions. A snapshot of this roadmap is presented in this issue. Reducing CO 2 emissions is an important goal not only for us but for our customers as well. There’s great potential for carbon foot- print reductions in packaging, but making the right material choices can be difficult. You cannot determine what type of mater-

ial has the lowest environmental impacts just by how it looks. Our Sustainability team recently made de- tailed assessments of the carbon footprint re- duction possibilities of pharmaceutical pack- aging. The results are shared in this issue, and the detailed data is on our website. In this is- sue, you can also read about the concept of the carbon handprint and the possibilities of a positive climate impact: something for which we are currently developing assessment meth- ods. If you are interested in what the environ- mental impacts of your specific packaging is, our Sustainability Services team can do the calculations for you. In addition to sustain- ability, our 360 Services can help with chal- lenges related to different stages of the value chain, from material choices and structural design to converting and logistics. Let’s col- laborate to make packaging solutions that are ready for the future! Mika Joukio



Texts: Elina Hovinen and Metsä Board Photos: Jussi Hellsten and Metsä Group

EU tackles deforestation

In April 2023, the European Parliament approved new rules oblig- ing companies to verify that products placed on the European Un- ion market or exported from it have not contributed to deforesta- tion or forest degradation anywhere in the world. In addition to wood, the new law applies to commodities such as palm oil, soy, cocoa, coffee, rubber and cattle, as well as derivative products like beef, leather, cosmetics, chocolate, furniture, paper- board, packaging cases and boxes. This new regulation, replacing the previous EU Timber regulation, entered into force in June 2023, with operational implementation starting later this year. From 30 December 2024 onwards, products placed on the EU market or exported from the EU must be covered by due diligence statements. “Metsä Group’s wood procurement always complies with exist- ing legislation. We are following the process closely so that we will be able to help our customers with reporting needs now and in the future,” clarifies Anne Uusitalo Product Safety & Sustainability Di- rector at Metsä Board. Metsä Board only uses wood that can be traced back to sustain- ably managed Northern European forests which ensure the regen- eration of forests and biodiversity. The majority of the wood used, 91 per cent in 2023, originates from either PEFC or FSC®-certified forest sources. All non-certified wood is required to meet at least the criteria for PEFC Controlled Sources and FSC Controlled Wood. Our licence codes are PEFC/ 02-31-92 and FSC-C001580.



Since last spring, Metsä Group has been carrying out a pre- feasibility study with the energy company Fortum concern- ing the construction of a carbon capture facility at a pulp or bioproduct mill. The Äänekoski bioproduct mill has been used as an example. Carbon dioxide can be captured at all mills that use wood-based fuels, such as Metsä Board’s Husum mill. The background of the study is the global hydrogen econ- omy and using carbon dioxide obtained from wood within it. The hydrogen economy is a major step for the green transition, in which Metsä Group is also involved in renewa- ble production. “There is a lot of untapped potential in carbon capture. For example, the captured carbon could be used as raw material for synthetic gas to replace natural gas obtained from Russia in Europe and balance the fluctuation in elec- tricity prices,” says Pirita Mikkanen , Vice President, Energy at Metsä Group. Carbon dioxide is created as a side stream of the forest industry’s production. A successful hydrogen economy would enable renewable energy to be stored using hydro- gen. The storage of renewable energy reduces dependency on fossil fuels, which in turn would decrease their resulting carbon dioxide emissions. “Carbon capture benefits the climate by replacing fossil energy and keeping carbon dioxide away from the atmos- phere for longer time.” The captured carbon dioxide can also be used to produce methanol for the chemical industry. It is also a suitable raw material for fuel or plastic, for example.


Metsä Group has prepared a plan for safeguarding biodiversity in its mill areas. The project was launched in the autumn of 2023 in the Kemi mill area, which also includes Metsä Board’s paper- board mill. A total of 12 hectares of mead- ows and sunlit habitats have been established in the environment of the Kemi mill area of 650 hec- tares, and seeds of more than 80 different plants have been sown in them. The cultivated plants are chosen based on the local plant population and climate. “Improving the state of nature is one of the goals of Metsä

Group’s regenerative forestry approach, and the Kemi pilot project will expand its scope from the forest to mill areas and urban environments. This could be a course adopted industry-wide,” says Ilkka Hämälä , Metsä Group’s President and CEO. Based on the results from the project in Kemi, measures to protect biodiversity will also be introduced at all Metsä Group’s 20 mill locations across Europe. One goal of the project is to include the biodiversity plans in the mills’ environmental reporting.

Metsä Group aims to increase regional biodiversity at all its mill locations across Europe, which number more than 20.


3D fibre technology is changing packaging design Three-dimensional fibre product technology is changing the packag- ing market and the way packaging is being designed. One such 3D in- novation, called Muoto™ is being developed by Metsä Group’s innova- tion company Metsä Spring. With this technology, wood fibre, witch is also used for the production of paperboard, can be used to make easily recyclable 3D products that replace plastic. The design and development of a Muoto product involves the partici- pation of various specialist teams from Metsä Spring, technology sup- plier Valmet and design partners such as Futupack. “The making of Muoto products starts with wet pulp mass, which en- ables three-dimensional products to be formed with the aid of moulds. This makes the design work quite different from the design of paper- board packages. The designer must know the basic principles of 3D design, the laws of physics, and the restrictions and possibilities of the material and tools,” says Mikko Remes , a designer from Fut- upack. He is part of a larger network of specialists from various fields jointly developing the three-dimensional Muoto products. Paperboard packages are designed two-dimensionally, mean- ing the paperboard sheet is cut, folded and possibly glued into the desired shape. Packaging made from three-dimensional fi- bre products, on the other hand, are designed with a 3D mod- elling programme, and the products are pressed into the desired three-dimensional shape using a mould prepared with a precise mod- elling process. When using Metsä Spring’s new Muoto product for packaging, an en- casing or sleeve made of paperboard can be incorporated, enabling

a high-quality printing surface and branding. The two dif- ferent materials complement each other. Metsä Group is currently looking into the construction of the first com- mercial mill for Muoto products in Rauma.



Metsä Board has achieved home compostability certification for all its white kraftliners and folding boxboards, excluding the PE-coated grades. The certification was issued by the renowned German certification body DIN CERTCO, based on compliance with the NF T 51-800 standard. All Metsä Board’s paperboards are made from pure and 100 per cent traceable fresh wood fibre and are all recyclable. The aim of recycling is to keep valuable materials in circulation as long as possible. “Recycling is the preferable option when the packaging or food service container has served its purpose. But some- times the packaging material can be stained by food, and then composting with biowaste is a good option,” says Helena Moring-Vepsäläinen , Product Safety Manager at Metsä Board. Composting is also a good option in areas where the local recycling infrastructure is still insufficient. “Our paperboards have had industrial compostability certification for several years now, and home compostability is one step further, which consumers certainly welcome”, Moring-Vepsäläinen adds.

“Home compostability is one step further, which consumers certainly welcome”, says Metsä Board’s Product Safety Manager Helena Moring-Vepsäläinen.

Metsä Board Sustainability Review 2023


The European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) entered into force in early 2023, strengthening the rules for the environmental, social and governance (ESG) information that companies operating in Europe have to report. The first companies will have to apply the new rules for the first time in the 2024 financial year, but the require- ments already guided Metsä Board’s sustainability reporting in 2023. Metsä Board’s Annual Review 2023, published in February, includes a comprehensive Sustainability State- ment with content and structure guided by the EU’s upcoming report- ing requirements. By preparing for the new statutory reporting requirements as early as 2023, Metsä Board aims

to be a forerunner in promoting the move towards assured sustainability reporting. A separate Sustainability Review, published in the spring, provides insights into the company’s progress towards its 2030 targets and offers customers key information about topics such as our paperboards’ envi- ronmental and climate impacts, sus- tainable forest management, social responsibility, and key regulations affecting the paperboard business. “With the Sustainability Review, we wanted to offer our customers highlights of our key sustainability objectives and achievements in 2023 beyond the mandatory reporting,” comments Sari Koski , Sustainability Manager at Metsä Board.

Read more in our Sustainability Review


Customer Story

Read more about Haleon

Better everyday health – with renewable packaging Haleon is home to several household health brands such as Sensodyne, Centrum, Voltaren and Panadol – with a strong focus on sustainability.

Sami Anteroinen, photos: Hanne Manelius

T he company aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions – from source to sale – by 2040. For example, Haleon also wants to sustainably source trusted ingredients and to integrate water stewardship and waste circularity into its operations. Increasingly, however, Haleon is turning its attention to packaging solutions. “We’re committed to making our packaging more sustainable,” confirms John Litwak , Procurement Manager at Haleon. “This means eliminating plastic where we can and turn- ing increasingly to sustainable board solutions,” he says, adding that the transition to more sustainable packaging is progressing very well. Overall, Haleon is moving to a more circular model in its operations. “We’re working with strategic partners such as Metsä Board to bring new solutions to consumer health prod- uct packaging and to pioneer the use of alternative ma- terials for healthcare packaging, including using pulp- based alternatives to plastic,” he says, crediting Metsä Board for being “very generous” in sharing their knowl- edge with Haleon. It does appear that plastic is making a hasty exit: with 2020 as its baseline, Haleon aims to reduce its use of virgin petroleum-based plastic by 10 per cent by 2025, and by a third by 2030. What’s more, Haleon is currently developing solutions for all product packaging to be recycle-ready by 2025, as part of its goal to make all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030. The company is closing in on its tar- Team effort required But we can’t do it alone, Litwak points out.

gets rather nicely: in 2022, 65 per cent of its packaging was recycle-ready.

Gaining momentum The most recent news comes from Febru- ary 2024, as Haleon joined the constituents of S&P’s Dow Jones Sustainability Index Eu- rope for the first time and was recognised as a leader among constituents. Haleon was also added to S&P’s 2024 Global Sustainabil- ity Yearbook, a distinction intended to high- light top performers within the index. A tangible Haleon achievement from last year: the Haleon site in Cape Town in South Africa was the first to achieve water neutrality. “In addition, we are very much pursuing wind and solar parks to power our opera- tions. Regarding our transport fleet, we are using more e-vehicles, turning away from diesel,” Litwak says.

Tale of two markets Litwak feels that in some respects, Europe is more pro- gressive in the Green Transition, with the USA following behind somewhat. “In the States, the volumes and distances are so great that it’s difficult to change things overnight. However, many companies are seeking reductions in their carbon footprints one action at a time.” What about the end-consumers, then? Are they con- cerned about issues such as more sustainable pack- aging? – Litwak replies that the customer feedback


John Litwak Procurement Manager, Haleon

is “very supportive” of sustainable solutions – and, indeed, eager to see more of them. “You only have to visit a local grocery store in the US to see that consumers have become more aware of these issues. They’re now more willing than ever to go out of their way to make a better choice.” Taking charge This shift in consumer attitudes encourages industry players to make even bolder moves.

“We’re eager to see new technology and solutions from Metsä Board and our other strategic partners. The sky is really the limit for development.” Having been with Haleon for nine years, Litwak has seen a powerful wave of change rising across the industry – and he doesn’t expect it to wane any time soon. “Sustainable products have a strong foothold in the market, which in turn means that you have a lot more options now than you did ten years ago.” •


Developing packaging proactively Metsä Board’s packaging design team innovates packaging solutions to improve the resource efficiency and functionality of packaging, reduce its environmental impact, and even reshape the packaging industry.

Sami Anteroinen, Elina Hovinen, photos: Jussi Hellsten

T he development of new packaging is not always based on customer orders or needs. Indeed, many of the new packaging solutions are the result of Metsä Board’s concept of open innovation development. “We want to open-mindedly test and explore new packaging solutions when we identify a development need and potential. Ideally, the new packages will find their way to the market. We be- lieve that openly sharing ideas and new packaging concepts pro- motes development across the sector,” says Ilkka Harju , Metsä Board’s Packaging Service Director. Metsä Board’s premium paperboards are suitable for a wide range of packaging solutions the customers have not even thought of yet. “By combining our material expertise, design competence, wide partner network and technologies, we can produce inno- vative packaging solutions. We want to show our customers real examples of all the things our paperboards can be used for.” Three examples of this proactive development are presented in this article.

8 % Lighter in weight


Case 1: Setting world-record standards in corrugated printing

Metsä Board and its partners explored packaging for ice cream cones and the different stages of its value chain – ranging from material production to ink use and logistics – to produce a solution with an improved climate impact. Traditionally, the frozen food packaging on the mar- ket relies on recycled fibres and spot colour printing. Instead, the project design team selected lightweight fresh fibre materials and flexographic printing methods to achieve excellent usability and word-record printing quality with 188 lines per inch. Metsä Board’s double-coated white-top kraftliner (MetsäBoard Prime WKL, 125 g/m 2 ) was picked as the top liner because it is light and has a smooth surface

that enables excellent reproduction of detailed visuals. The inside liner and fluting were made from uncoated kraftliner (MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright 90 g/m 2 ), which is ideal for small and lightweight pack- aging requiring high strength. As a result, the new packaging

has 8 per cent lighter weight which has a positive impact on its carbon footprint as well.

Read more about ice

cream cones


Case 2: New use-cases for an existing solution

Metsä Board’s design team noticed that the market lacked a paperboard-based bowl with a hot-sealed lid that was large enough for transporting food. They got down to work – they came up with a versatile paperboard bowl for food, including for the takeaway context – and this innovation can accommodate even demanding dishes like soup. Thanks to a hot-sealed bowl, there is no risk of leakage – so you don’t end up with chili sauce on the front seat of your car or in your bag.

Currently in the test phase, the paper- board bowl innovation is likely to be piloted this year. The goal is to renew fresh food packaging solutions by introducing more sustaina- ble new packaging products and testing whether packaging solutions for take- away products could also be used for shelf products. The renewal of packaging concepts requires good cooperation with grocery stores.


At Metsä Board, we cherish a culture of open innovation. When we identify possibil- ities for improvement in the field of packaging, our specialists get to work. Partner- ing with leading experts, we develop solutions and share them openly. We don’t just keep the ideas to ourselves. We want the entire industry to develop. In addition to these open innovation projects, our 360 Services can focus on par- ticular challenges that our customers have, looking at their packaging from several angles, covering the entire value chain. Our premium lightweight paperboard is the natural starting point. It is a material we know inside out. But with the 360 Services, we can go well beyond paperboard, supporting the customer with their development goals.

Learn more about our 360 Services:


Ilkka Harju Packaging Services Director, Metsä Board

50 % Lighter

The cosmetic jars have been manufactured by Sulapac, a company developing renewable alternatives to plastics. Their Sulapac Premium material is made of wood chips from industrial side streams combined with biodegradable biopolymers.

Case 3: Redesigning rigid boxes with a new lightweight structure

Another example is the so-called ”rigid box”, a real staple of the packaging industry. The original rigid box is thicker than regular folding cartons, and does not fold or collapse – how do you match the performance but make the product more sustainable? The big game-changer turned out to be micro-flute, which is a significantly low fluting in corrugated boards.

Here’s how it works: the packaging consists of a separate base and lid made of micro-flute. Its surface liner can be either uncoated, white kraft- liner or coated white kraftliner. Of these three, the coated white kraftliner gives the package the best printing properties. As a result, the packaging is up to 50 per cent lighter in weight which has a positive impact on its carbon footprint as well.



What is a carbon handprint? Calculating the carbon footprint is a mainstay in most industries – but what about the carbon handprint?

Sami Anteroinen, photos: Metsä Group

A s a concept, the carbon handprint has been around for a while now, having been launched to greater public aware- ness by UNESCO back in 2007. In Finland, the “handprint evolution” has been spearheaded by VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland. But what is it exactly? Tiina Pajula was part of the original VTT team that came up with the carbon handprint metrics. Currently working at the consulting agency AFRY, Pajula recalls that the project attracted attention from Finnish companies quite quickly. “We knew that products could have a positive climate impact, but there was no way to measure and communicate it accurately. However, companies were eager to quantify the climate benefits,” she looks back. But how do you measure the positive climate impacts of a prod- uct or service? Well, in essence, a company must offer products and services that allow its customers to reduce their carbon footprint. By substituting a product with a high carbon footprint with a product that has a lower carbon footprint, the carbon handprint is created. Calculating the carbon handprint is a well-defined method that will get you a clear result. The bigger the carbon handprint, the better. Maximising the positive climate impact Maija Pohjakallio , Vice President, Climate and Circular Econ- omy, at Metsä Group says that quantifying the positive climate im- pact of a product is a very welcome idea.


Tiina Pajula Principal scientist, Sustainable business, VTT

Maija Pohjakallio Vice President, Climate and Circular Economy, Metsä Group

“Companies want to pursue a positive climate impact through their actions, and the carbon handprint can be one tool that helps them achieve this.”

“Companies want to pursue a positive cli- mate impact through their actions, and the carbon handprint can be one tool that helps them achieve this.” For years, Metsä Board has followed the en- vironmental impact of their paperboards with life-cycle assessments prepared in accordance with the ISO14040 and ISO14044 standards. Carbon handprint calculations are based on comparing two footprints calculated in line with these standards. The goal of carbon hand- printing is to assess the positive greenhouse gas impacts (“avoided emissions”) for customers.

“You have to be very specific about what you’re comparing. For example, the function- ality of the products compared must be similar.” “Furthermore, all the utilised data sourc- es must be presented, and the calculation de- scribed transparently. It is also important to note that the carbon handprint is a relative met- ric that is calculated with respect to a specific baseline,” she says. Packaging design matters Ultimately, the climate impact of a packaging product is generated over its entire life-cycle and is affected by a multitude of factors: the raw materials, production process and trans- port, design, and how the product is used, recy- cled and disposed of, Pohjakallio summarises. “Package design can create a big part of the to- tal carbon handprint – even if people don’t al- ways realise its impact,” she says. With the approaching EU “Green claims” reg- ulations, more and more companies are likely to be interested in the carbon handprint. After all, the directive would provide a new criterion to prevent companies making misleading claims about the environmental merits of their prod- ucts or services – and stop greenwashing. “What the carbon handprint does is to offer a science-based, life-cycle targeting tool to ad- dress precisely these issues – and that benefits all climate-conscious companies eager to demon- strate their track record,” Pajula summarises. •

Transparent and fact-based comparison Pajula says that the careful selection of the base- line product for comparison is key. “We have technical experts at AFRY who know the qualities of boards and plastics and can make fact-based comparisons between dif- ferent packaging products common in the in- dustry,” she says. Pohjakallio acknowledges that determining the carbon handprint requires profound anal- ysis.


Sustainable solutions

Cutting the carbon footprint of pharma packaging With smart packaging choices, pharma companies can reduce the carbon footprint of their value chain. Metsä Board supports the pharmaceutical industry with lightweight paperboard products and fact-based data about the environmental impact of packaging materials.

Charlie Bass, photos: Metsä Board

S cope 3 emissions, which include indirect emissions in the upstream and down- stream activities of an organisation, are a hot topic in the pharma industry as companies continue to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. With the right material choices and reliable accurate data, the carbon footprint of pharma- ceutical packaging can be significantly reduced. Metsä Board can provide both expert support and lightweight paperboard products to support pharma companies in their carbon footprint reduction efforts. Fulfilling demanding packaging requirements Paperboard for pharma packaging needs to retain its specified thickness, mechanical strength and water absorption properties, regardless of the conditions it faces, and it must not affect the primary packaging in any way. Any changes in dimensions could cause curling or bulging, which could pose a risk to the integrity of the packaging and therefore the safety of the product inside. To ensure the excellent performance of the packaging, its materials or the whole pack- aging solution can be tested. At its Excellence Centre in Äänekoski, Central Finland, Metsä Board can test the per- formance of paperboard and pharmaceutical packaging samples across a wide temper- ature and humidity range. This is how the packaging can be improved. Carbon reduction with expertise and materials Trustworthy fact-based data and accurate transparent calculations of the overall im- pact of different materials help pharma brand owners make better-informed decisions. Metsä Board can provide pharma brand owners with this information through its Sus- tainability Service, which is part of the Metsä Board 360 Services offering.

Learn more about our 360 Services:


Lari Oksala Sustainability Manager, Metsä Board

Anne Uusitalo Product Safety and Sustainability Director, Metsä Board


Sustainable solutions

The first step is to measure the current pack- aging and calculate its environmental impacts in terms of its carbon footprint or overall en- vironmental impacts. “This information is based on product cat- egory rules for processed paper and paper- board, which are used when conducting envi- ronmental product declarations (EPDs). If the customer wishes, Metsä Board can also pro- vide a full Life Cycle Assessment with a wid- er range of environmental impact categories and resource use indicators for all its paper- boards,” explains Lari Oksala , Sustainability Manager at Metsä Board. “As a responsible material supplier, it’s our job to provide pharma brand owners with ac- curate unbiased information that helps them evaluate packaging materials to make bet- ter-informed and more sustainable choices in reducing their carbon footprint,” says Anne Uusitalo , Product Safety and Sustainability Director at Metsä Board.

A holistic approach to packaging design for all-round savings

Once Metsä Board’s experts understand the construction and material of the existing pharma packaging, they work with the brand owner to identify alternative materials that can positively affect the packaging’s carbon footprint. Packaging design experts at Metsä Board’s Excellence Centre can also help iden- tify further opportunities to reduce packag- ing material consumption through new de- sign solutions. The next step is to choose the right material. With Metsä Board’s help, pharma companies can identify materials that they can use to re- duce their packaging’s carbon footprint. This to protect its valuable contents while having good printing properties and projecting the brand image effectively. Metsä Board’s lightweight folding boxboards are made from sustainably sourced fresh wood fibres using resource efficient manufacturing processes and a high share of fossil free energy, which enables a lower carbon footprint. This helps brands create packaging designs that are lighter than those made with conventional pa- perboards while retaining the durability and functional properties of heavier grades.


“Switching from solid bleached board can reduce the carbon footprint by 50%, while switching from white lined chipboard can provide a reduction of 60% or even more.”

Metsä Board has conducted assessments to demonstrate the carbon footprint reduction potential of its paperboard materials. For exam- ple, switching from solid bleached board (SBB) to Metsä Board’s folding boxboard can reduce the carbon footprint of packaging by over 50 per cent, while a switch from white lined chipboard or recycled paperboard to Metsä Board folding boxboard can provide a reduction of 60 per cent or even more.* The assessments have been veri- fied by IVL Swedish Environmental Research In- stitute. Fresh or recycled? The carbon footprint of pharma packaging made from fresh fibres can be lower than that of pack- aging made from recycled fibres. The paperboard weight and the amount of material needed to pro-

duce a piece of packaging, as well as the type of energy used, play an important role in the car- bon footprint. “With recycled paperboard, you often need more material to meet the same strength and stiff- ness requirements that you’d get with fresh fibre,” says Uusitalo. “Fresh fibre paperboards provide high strength and bulk, so lighter basis weights can be used for the same packaging quality. This translates into less packaging material needed, less weight to transport and less waste to dispose of at the end of the chain.” Moreover, the type of energy used in paper- board production plays a key role: “Our paper- boards are produced with a high share of fossil free energy, which lowers the carbon footprint,” Uusitalo adds. •


EU to combat greenwashing The European Union is willing to set new criteria for B2C communication related to the marketing of the environmental merits of a product or service for con- sumers to be able to make better-informed purchas- ing decisions. The new criteria include requirements for data quality and verification. The Green Claims Directive is currently in the EU leg- islative process, with multiple steps before entry into force. However, European consumer authorities have already started to challenge companies for their vague use of terms and visuals referring to sustainability. “Even though Metsä Board is not a direct partic- ipant in B2C communication, we have a big role to play in providing our customers with reliable data on our products that can then be utilised as environ- mental information for end customers,” says Lari Oksala , Sustainability Manager at Metsä Board. Calculations for transparency Metsä Board calculates the carbon footprint of its paperboards by following specific product category rules for processed paper and paperboard, which are based on the requirements set out in the ISO 14025

and ISO 14040/14044 international standards. “These calculations are performed so that we can provide fully transparent information to our customers about the environmental impact of our paperboard products,” says Oksala. Scope 3 makes the impact Scope 1 emissions include direct greenhouse gas emissions from a company’s own operations, while Scope 2 emissions include indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of purchased energy. Scope 3 emissions include indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the value chain. For many companies, Scope 3 emissions account for 70 per cent of their carbon footprint. The greatest impact can therefore be achieved by reducing Scope 3 emissions. “The combined greenhouse gas emissions from the Scopes 1, 2 and upstream Scope 3 value chain will all be embedded into the products a company produces. These embedded emissions, from cradle-to-gate, will then be visible in their customers’ Scope 3 upstream greenhouse gas inventories based on the quantity of products purchased,” explains Oksala.

* Assessments follow the procedural and methodological requirements of ISO 14025 and are consistent with ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. The selected system boundary for the study was cradle-to-gate + end-of-life, and selected climate change impact methodology was EF3.1 Climate Change - total. Climate change impacts for competing materials utilise data from Sphera LCA for Packaging, which seeks to represent general products in the European market. The technical background report and the verification statement are available on Metsä Board’s website.

Roadmap to fossil free

SIMPELE Peat is replaced by renewable energy *

KYRO Peat is replaced by renewable energy

KYRO The power plant’s new turbine and generator

RENEWAL OF THE HUSUM PULP MILL Phase 1: New recovery boiler and turbine


2024 Share of fossil free energy out of total energy. When the share is 100%, Metsä Board’s fossil-based CO 2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) are zero.


* Simpele power plant discontinued the use of peat in 2023, but some peat is used in 2024 due to a lower availability of wood chips.

mills by the end of 2030

A variety of forest plants can be used to enrich illustrations and highlight biodiversity.

TAKO In steam produc- tion, natural gas is replaced by e.g. electricity


100 %

JOUTSENO Natural gas is replaced by biogas or electricity



HUSUM, KASKINEN, KYRO, SIMPELE The power plant’s backup fuels will be replaced with renewable fuels

KASKINEN Process fuels in chemicals recovery will be replaced with renewable fuels

RENEWAL OF THE HUSUM PULP MILL Phase 2: New fibre line



HUSUM, KEMI, KYRO, TAKO, SIMPELE Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or natural gas in the coating drying will be replaced e.g. with biogas or electricity


Some of the projects still lack a final investment decision, and the times shown are indicative. !

Estimated time frame for the project

A darker shade indicates measures already taken

Everything can be done better together. This is the idea behind Metsä Board’s co-creation workshops, where new and improved packaging solutions are created in collaboration with customers. Collaboration creates the perfect package

Silja Eisto, photos: Mika Nuorva

W hen seeking to produce an excellent pack- age, a comprehensive set of skills is re- quired. In addition to a suitable material, innovative packaging design, profound understand- ing of customers, and knowledge of the brand and the purpose, life-cycle, logistics, carbon footprint and environmental impact of the package play key roles. In the design of a new package or the further im- provement in the co-creation of an existing one, Metsä Board’s customers are supported by the 360 Services, which offer deep understanding and competence on a variety of these themes. Expert skills combined with advanced technology lead to innovative and careful- ly studied packaging solutions. Metsä Board has also created a development work- shop concept for its customers to harness the var- ied competences of the company’s experts for solv- ing packaging challenges. The paperboard producer has been offering its co-creation workshops since the autumn of 2020.

“With the workshops, we wanted to bring compe- tencies from different fields to the same table to share as much information as possible about the problem to be solved. This helps us find a solution efficient- ly,” says Ilkka Harju , Packaging Services Director at Metsä Board. The goal is to develop a better package through col- laboration – for example, a more lightweight package or a solution in which a plastic window is replaced with an alternative. This is an innovative and inter- active way of working, offering clear benefits to the customer. “With the help of the workshops, we can ensure that the requirements of the value chain for the package are met. This leads to the most fruitful end result,” Harju says. A team to match the needs In the ideal situation, the collaboration project in- volves the participation of three parties: the packag-


With 3D simulation, Metsä Board’s 360 Services can deliver data-driven material and design recommenda- tions 85% faster than with physical prototyping.

ing manufacturer, the owner of the brand and a team of Metsä Board experts who help achieve the best possi- ble outcome. The problem at hand is approached from all angles with the aid of varied competences. “This isn’t some kind of ‘copy and paste’ work. Each project has its individual characteristics,” says Gunilla Nykopp , Customer Experience Manager at Metsä Board. Typically, several professionals from Metsä Board participate in the first discussion with the customer. Once the customer’s problem and development needs are clear, a team with the right set of skills is formed. External experts from a particular field may also be invited to join the process. “We involve specialists from different fields, which means more knowledge and skills are available to us at the planning table. This enables us to innovate and find a solution faster,” Harju says. According to Nykopp, specialists from the Sustaina- bility Service team typically participate in the process in addition to packaging design professionals. Their knowledge helps minimise the package’s environmen- tal impact and ensure product compliance. The team compares the environmental impact of various mate- rials and provides training on sustainability and prod- uct safety, for example. The R&D Service team can offer material analyses for customers, for example. They have the latest infor-

mation about the possibilities offered by fibre-based packaging solutions. They can also analyse material choices in terms of food safety or protective features, help improve cost-effectiveness, and bring deeply in- novative thinking to the development work. Meanwhile, the Technical Service team provides a deeper understanding of the properties of paperboard and the most suitable materials for the end-use. In ad- dition, the Supply Chain and Digital Service can pro- vide better transparency of supply for the customer and help develop the supply chain to be more reliable and to have a smaller environmental impact accord- ing to the customer’s needs. Collaboration is the key to success Participants from the customer’s side also play an ex- tremely important role. “Collaboration is what makes the concept unique. We cannot find the perfect solution all by ourselves; we need the right people from the customer to par- ticipate. New insights from customers have been the best part of the workshops,” Nykopp says. At their best, the workshops offer innovative possi- bilities for paperboard and a deep understanding of customers. Nearly 130 workshops have been organised so far. The majority of customers have been from the Euro-


360 Services

pean markets, but there have also been participants from Asia. Metsä Board’s 360 Services team in the United States organises workshops under the same concept for customers in North and South America. The analysed end-uses cover a wide range, and the products to be packaged have ranged from chocolate to luxury perfumes. “We’ve had a great range of participants, and we’ve processed packaging for pharmaceuticals, food and toys, for example,” Nykopp says. Welcome to Äänekoski! The meeting place for the workshops is Metsä Board’s Excellence Centre in Äänekoski in Central Finland. According to Nykopp, the co-creation workshop of- ten includes a visit to the paperboard mill and the or- igin of the raw material, Finnish forests. Forest man- agement, biodiversity, and new materials developed at the Äänekoski integrated mill, such as the Muoto TM product, can also be discussed.

The Excellence Centre hosts doz- ens of workshops every year. In ad- dition to a packaging design stu- dio, there is an R&D laboratory at the Excellence Centre that can analyse and test the performance of packages in, e.g. different tem- peratures and in different humidity conditions. Simulations can be used to test the strength of the packaging solution in different scenarios. This facilitates the crea- tion of packages that are both as lightweight as pos- sible and very durable. The new package can also be viewed through the eyes of the end-user at the Ex- cellence Centre. Virtual reality glasses can be used to view the package in a virtual shopping environment. During the pandemic, the workshops were also moved to an online environment. Workshops held via a remote connection have become a popular op- tion, but live sessions are gaining popularity again.

“Collaboration is what makes the concept unique.”


Ilkka Harju Packaging Services Director, Metsä Board

Gunilla Nykopp Customer Experience Manager, Metsä Board

“The original idea was always to organise the work- shops physically. We had to learn how to implement the workshops in an online environment. Today, they are arranged quite often via Teams as well,” Nykopp says. Different options for different needs The key themes of the co-creation workshops are re- search, innovation and testing. Several options are avail- able, based on the needs of the customer. “We usually organise Challenge Us workshops. A major theme in these has been plastic replacement,” Nykopp says. Today, a lot of attention is also being paid to over-pack- aging. It is not sensible to transport air inside packages. Instead, the aim is to design efficient packages that serve their purpose. These types of workshops typically involve designing a completely new package that is better than the existing one in terms of sustainability, functionality or cost-ef- fectiveness. The “Performance Clinic” option, on the other hand, investigates how the current package can be made more efficient, and how its performance during converting can be improved. A package’s sustainability can be im- proved by making it lighter, for example. Its structure

can also change. A more compact size or replacing the material can be a step towards lowering the envi- ronmental impact. Benefits can also be ob-

tained in terms of costs: “We made a lot of calculations for one customer on the potential cost savings from using another solu- tion,” Nykopp says.

The “Explore the Future” workshop includes looking further into the future with entirely new material solu- tions and exploring future packaging solutions with ex- ternal partners and top researchers in the field. The package is at the core of everything In a typical case, the collaboration starts with the cus- tomer sending an existing package to Metsä Board’s team for review and describing its development needs. The team can then examine the package first hand and find out what the development needs are. The proper- ties of the package can also be studied in a laboratory and tested in various ways. It is also important to ensure suitability for convert- ing, and cooperation with Metsä Board’s Technical Ser- vice specialists and packaging converting partners is key to success here. The technical team, which has a deep expertise in paperboard materials and their converting and printing properties, can provide useful recommen- dations for increasing production efficiency. When the required background work is complete, the Metsä Board 360 Services team members can start their work and create new ideas. When a proposal is ready, the participants receive either a mock-up of the package or a structural drawing, based on which the customer can implement the package and test it. The solution and development proposals are reviewed at a joint meeting. “The workshop often includes more than one session. This depends on the customer,” Nykopp says. The proposal is refined until the package meets every- one’s expectations. The jointly developed package is then ready to hit the market. •

Learn more about our 360 Services:


“We made a lot of calculations for one customer on the potential cost savings from using another solution.”


Future of Paperboard

Optimise, don’t overpackage

E-commerce packaging operations are developing. They now focus on cost-effectiveness and packaging solutions with a lower environmental impact.

Elina Hovinen, photos: Metsä Group and Metsä Board

O nline shopping has become an established part of our everyday lives. The sector has grown enormously, and more packages are being shipped than ever. Major trends in the field include us- ing packaging that serves its purpose, offering protec- tion for the product while not wasting space or using excessive packaging materials. Even more personalised packages and making better use of the marketing po- tential will come next. Last year, around 20 per cent of the world’s retail sales already took place online. China is a forerunner in e-commerce: more than 45 per cent of all retail trade is handled online there. In Western Europe, e-commerce accounts for approximately 13 per cent, and in the Unit- ed States, about 15 per cent.* “E-commerce growth was already surging before the pandemic and peaked during it. Such growth rates may not occur again. The growth slowed down in 2022, when consumers returned to brick-and-mor- tar shops. The slowdown has been particularly visible in Europe, where high inflation and economic uncer- tainty has reduced consumers, willingness to spend,” says Anna Keinänen , Market Intelligence Manager, Metsä Board. Online retailing is expected to rebound when the economy improves and will grow at a faster rate than

offline retailing. Online shopping is heavily reflected in the packaging industry. Compared with packages at brick-and-mortar shops, e-commerce packages have a longer supply chain with more logistical touchpoints, requiring packages to be much more durable. Solutions to overpackaging Overpackaging is the greatest challenge in the e-com- merce industry. It results from the intention to ensure that the product arrives at its destination intact. Iiro Numminen , packaging designer at Metsä Board, de- scribes its background: “When e-commerce became common, packages de- signed as on-the-shelf packages were repackaged for shipping. The on-the-shelf packages were never de- signed for shipping, so they were protected by new packaging.” Previous packaging solutions also contributed to over- packaging. Only packages of specific sizes were avail- able, from which the most suitable option had to be selected – there was no customisation. Using an exces- sively large package not only causes extra waste and costs: transporting empty space causes unnecessary emissions because the oversized packages take space from other packages in the logistics chain. The prob- lem and the emissions are multiplied.

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