Metsä Board Magazine – Winter 2022




Tailored service concept to serve the Americas

Instaworthy pink package helps build a super brand

All carbon footprints calculations are not equal – know the essentials




Board Magazine


More sustainable packaging “The market is moving towards a more sustainable trend from raw materials through design and fit-for-purpose packaging. The days of one-design-for-all products seem to be ending as more and more companies are opting for optimized packaging for their products.”

Michael George, Sales Director, Americas, Metsä Board



Meeting customer needs through sustainability. Soap up! Protecting biodiversity. Muoto® innovation. Excellence Centre invites for collaboration. Roadmaps visualize sustainable development. California gets tough on plastic. page 4

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION L’Oréal shapes the future of sustainable



Crumbl Cookies is an American sensation with rocketing social media followers. page 12

How does carbon footprint calculation support sustainable packaging choices? page 24

cosmetics ​packaging. page 8





BETTER WITH LESS Metsä Board’s design challenge highlights zero waste this year. page 32

Metsä Board is committed to superior service in Americas. page 26

Mark Beamesderfer, Packaging Services

Director. page 30


Product portfolio and Metsä Board in numbers. page 35



packaging is a key enabler of a more sustainable future. page 16

Dear reader,

The circular economy and plastic reduction remain high on the agenda of brand owners and consumers. Regulations are also driving the change. Therefore, we want to provide in- novative approaches and actively respond to the growing demand for sustainably produced packaging materials and support our custom- ers’ growth. Although there are presently many un- certainties in the world, we cannot wait for better times. Planning and implementing investments take time, so we need to look at the market in the long term. We have three major investments ongoing, two at Husum mill in Sweden and one at Kemi mill in Finland. The investments will bring new capacity to the market in line with our custom- ers’ expectations, and they are also an impor- tant step towards 100% fossil-free production. We recently announced the start of pre- engineering for the new folding boxboard mill in Kaskinen, Finland. This possible in- vestment decision will be made at the earliest in 2024. In the planning of the mill concept,

our ambition is to continue along our chosen path: to create the world’s most resource-effi- cient mill and a product concept that enables carbon footprint reduction. In this issue, we look at the American mar- ket and showcase interesting customer cases and topical themes influencing the packaging industry. One example is the story of Crumbl Cookies, the United States’ fastest-growing cookie company. Our commitment to the American market is demonstrated by our continued focus on excellent service, premium quality, and an ef- fective supply chain, knowing that they are the key for building longstanding partnerships. With over 30 years of commitment and steady growth in the region, we are motivat- ed by the joint opportunities that working with our partners in the Americas offer. This is why we are dedicating this issue of Board Magazine to the Americas. I hope you will enjoy reading it!

Mika Joukio



Texts: Michael Hunt, Marja Berisa, Metsä Group Photos: Stephen Yang, Seppo Samuli, Metsä Board

Meeting customer needs through sustainability Johan Holvik , Vice President Sales for Metsä Board Americas, sees sustainability as the key to future growth while meeting the needs of its customers. “Sustainability is at the forefront of the industry,” said Holvik. “People want to see that their purchases are in line with their eth- ical beliefs.” Because its products are lightweight, recyclable, compostable, and have their origin in sustainably managed forests, Metsä Board is able to provide enviromentally friendly choices to its customers. “We are changing and perpetuating a mindset that everyone can work to be more sustainable,” Holvik said. With the latest technology and open communication, Metsä Board is continuing to build a reliable and trustworthy brand among its customers in the Americas. “We have the opportunity to make a difference more than ever before by continuously improving our sustainability position,” Holvik said. “Effective and transparent communication with our partners is the best way we can offer solutions and strengthen our leading position in sustainable fiber-based materials.”



Sustainability starts at home – this is why creating better packaging solu- tions for consumers is crucial. One of Metsä Board’s latest packaging design solutions is a fully recyclable and grease-resistant soap package made out of MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB paperboard. “On the visual side, we went for Scan- dinavian minimalism and used as little post-treatment as possible. The luxuri- ous logo on the package was achieved by embossing, which is a sustainable method for creating an attractive look. As opposed to glitter, shiny coatings, and other more material-intensive designs, we wanted to create a ‘less-is- more’ approach,” says Marko Leiviskä , Graphic Packaging Designer at Metsä Board.


Metsä Group strengthens its posi- tion as a front-runner in sustaina- ble forestry. Finnish forests are important for biodiversity, as they are home to various biotopes, offering a habitat for more than 20,000 species. Safeguarding the biodiversity of forests is one of Metsä Group’s strategic goals for 2030. “Taking care of biodiversity is a part of our everyday work in Metsä Group,” says Timo Lehesvirta , M.Sc., biologist, and Metsä Group’s Leading Nature Expert. His task, which is completely new at Metsä Group, includes ensuring that Metsä Group’s strategic targets for safeguarding nature values and biodiversity are achieved and developing and implementing pro- jects in his area of responsibility with various stakeholders.

“We develop our operations con- tinuously, aiming to be a front-run- ner in sustainable forestry. There is more than wood in northern forests,” Lehesvirta adds. “Adaptation to climate change, wood production, safeguarding biodiversity, the recreational value of forests, and the protection of forests’ waters and carbon sinks can be compared as sustainability goals,” says Lehesvirta. “To protect biodiversity, we have an expanding program of eco- logical sustainability. Our targets are, for example, diversifying tree species composition, increasing dead wood, which provides a home for many species, and protecting biodiversity hot spots,” Lehesvirta summarizes.

Timo Lehesvirta, Metsä Group’s Leading Nature Expert.


Texts: Metsä Group, Marja Berisa, Sami Anteroinen Photos: Metsä Group, Hanne Manelius

Muoto® innovation replaces plastics Metsä Group’s brand-new wood-based packaging Muoto® has attracted a great deal of interest in our customer base. Our joint demo plant with Valmet was started in Äänekoski in May. “We are very excited to introduce a new renewable and recyclable alternative to fossil plastic. I see a lot of poten- tial for the Muoto® product, also combined with paper- board. Such packaging solution will allow us to utilize Muoto®’s endless shapes and sizes with paperboard’s excellent printing properties,” says Jarkko Tuominen , VP, Projects at Metsä Spring. Ready-to-use three-dimensional Muoto® products are suitable for such applications as food packaging. They are manufactured with wet forming from wood-fiber pulp. If the market interest and product viability can be proved on a large scale, Metsä Group will consider building a larger production unit for Muoto® products.



Metsä Board’s Excellence Centre is an active collaboration environ- ment for exploration, innovation and testing. Its mission is to explore the exciting potential of lightweight paperboards made of renew- able fresh fiber. “To do this in a multidisciplinary way, we offer our customers co-creation workshops based on their needs: to improve current packaging or create new solutions,” says Metsä Board’s Customer Experience Manager Gunilla Nykopp . Since its launch, the Excellence Centre has organized about 70 virtual workshops for its customers, who are mainly packaging man- ufacturers and brand owners. Now the collaboration will increasingly move to a hybrid or in-person sessions. “During a workshop, we can actually make demos of the package designs, try out how they fold, and what they feel like when handled,” says Nykopp. According to Nykopp, a large proportion of customers want to replace or reduce the use of plastics in their packages. “It is the number one topic in all our workshops, where resource efficient and sustainable wood fiber offers an excellent solution.”

From left to right: Customer Experience Manager Gunilla Nykopp, Structural Packaging Designer Iiro Numminen, Graphic Packaging Designer Marko Leiviskä, Mechanical Design Engineer Joni Myyryläinen, and Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director, EMEA and APAC.


Metsä Board has published new detailed roadmaps that visualize the measures that will be taken to achieve the ambi- tious 2030 targets regarding climate change and water use. The roadmaps summarize Metsä Board’s plans and actions to reach its targets and offer additional information. “A lot of our customers want to improve the environmental performance of their packaging. That is why they want to know how we proceed with our targets, and that

is one important reason why we decided to create these tools,” says Sustainability Manager Sari Koski. The roadmaps were developed by the Finnish software company AskKauko. AskKauko’s Impact OS platform is designed to measure and visualize sus- tainability data clearly and transparently.

Take a look at the roadmaps at


The State of California passed major legislation in July 2022 to signif- icantly reduce single-use plastic packaging in the state – as well as drastically boost recycling rates. With this legislative package, Cali- fornia has set the toughest require- ments for the use of plastic packag- ing in the USA. Anu Rehtijärvi , Market Intelligence Manager for Metsä Board, says that California has been a USA forerun- ner in matters relating to the use of plastic for years. “With this bill, it is clear that Cali- fornia wants to go to the source and reduce the amount of plastic that is being used,” Rehtijärvi says, adding that alternative materials such as cartonboard are also very much in the picture.

Under the bill, plastic producers must reduce plastics in single-use products by 10% by 2027, increasing to 25% by 2032. That reduction in plastic packaging can be met through a combination of reducing pack- age sizing, switching to a different material or making the product easily reusable or refillable. Also by 2032, plastic packaging has to be recycled at a rate of 65%, mak- ing this a huge leap from today’s rates (around 14% overall in the USA). Under the legislation, plastic mak- ers are required to form an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system to facilitate the creation of the required recycling infrastructure. Other states such as Maine, Oregon and Colorado already have similar EPR systems.


Sustainable solutions

Sustainability is imperative for L’Oréal With partners and suppliers, L’Oréal wants to shape the future of sustainable cosmetics packaging.

Markku Rimpiläinen, photos: L’Oréal, Metsä Group


“Our ambition is to collectively shape the future of sustainable packaging.” Mathieu Dufour, Packaging Sourcing Domain Head, L’Oréal

W ith 35 international brands, €32.28 billion in sales, and 1.5 billion annual consumers, L’Oréal Group is a global market leader in cosmetics. But it’s fair to say that L’Oréal is also a trendsetter in sustainability. A clear indication of L’Oréal’s progress is the best possible A rating, assessed by CDP in all environmental categories: tack- ling climate change; supporting sustainable forestry; and ensur- ing water security. In 2021, only 14 companies earned this tri- ple-A score – L’Oréal got it for sixth consecutive year. In L’Oréal’s latest sustainability programme, “L’Oréal for the Future,” the company has set extensive and quantifiable targets for 2030. “We mitigate climate change in line with the Science Based Tar- gets initiative. But we are also going one step further by address- ing three other major environmental issues: the preservation of biodiversity; sustainable water management; and the circular use of resources,” says Mathieu Dufour , Packaging Sourcing Domain Head at L’Oréal. The commitments are not restricted to L’Oréal’s direct impact; they also cover the indirect effects of the company’s suppliers and consumers’ use of its products. L’Oréal evaluates the commitments of its suppliers regularly with the EcoVadis questionnaire. EcoVadis rates companies us- ing four themes: environment; labour and human rights; sustain- able procurement; and ethics. So far, EcoVadis has rated more than 90,000 companies. L’Oréal is aiming for rapid cuts in CO₂ emissions By 2025, all L’Oréal’s sites will have achieved carbon neutrality by improving energy efficiency and using 100% renewable energy. Accordingly, by 2030, L’Oréal’s strategic suppliers must reduce their direct emissions of scopes 1 and 2 by 50% compared to 2016. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from company-owned and -controlled resources; scope 2 emissions are indirect emis- sions from the generation of purchased energy.


Sustainable solutions

Check out L’Oréal’s 2030 Sustainability targets

Check out Metsä Board’s 2030 Sustainability targets

In biodiversity, one of L’Oréal’s focus areas is sourcing forest-related raw materials such as palm oil, soya oil and wood-fiber-based mate- rials. By 2030, 100% of the bio-based ingredi- ents for formulas and packaging materials will be traceable and will come from sustainable sources, while none of them will be linked to deforestation. Sustainable water management will soon cov- er the whole value chain. By 2030, all L’Oréal’s strategic suppliers must use water sustainably in the areas in which they operate.

ing paper will be a significant part of future solutions. “We believe that the exchange of ideas and advanced partnerships will allow us to unleash the potential of packaging integrating paper. An integrated approach in the value chain will facilitate sustainable innovation.” Better information for customers L’Oréal is committed to helping its consumers limit their environmental impact when using the products and encouraging them to make sustainable choices. For example, L’Oréal has developed a Prod- uct Impact Labeling system to inform consum- ers about their products’ environmental and social impact. The system includes a score on a scale from A to E, with an A product considered best in class in terms of its environmental impact. All in all, sustainable packaging is a hot top- ic in cosmetics. Big players are pressing for- ward with eco-design and the use of reusable materials. In 2018, L’Oréal and the environmental sus- tainability consultancy Quantis launched SPICE (Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEt- ics), which has brought together 29 global cos- metics brands and organizations representing the entire packaging value chain. SPICE allows the cosmetic sector to make sig- nificant progress in 3 key areas: to guide sus- tainable packaging policies, to drive packaging innovation with objective eco-design criteria, and to provide consumers with transparent in- formation on the packaging’s environmental performance. “Our ambition is to collectively shape the future of sustainable packaging,” Dufour says. •

Reducing, replacing, and recycling packaging

Regarding the circular use of resources, the use of packaging materials is to the fore. One of the environmental impacts of beauty products is their formulation and ingredients, and the oth- er is packaging. “Our major ambition is to reduce the con- sumption of packaging materials. This will hap- pen through our 3R program. We reduce, re- place, and recycle. We are deep-diving new technological possibilities to match those com- mitments,” Dufour says. By 2030, L’Oréal will have reduced the inten- sity of the quantity of packaging by 20% com- pared to 2019. “Replacing happens when we move from an impacting material to a material with a better environmental profile. By 2030, 100% of our plastic used in our packaging will be recycled or bio-based.” And finally, L’Oréal aims to promote the cir- cular economy. The target is that by 2025, 100% of L’Oréal’s plastic packaging will be refillable, reusable, or compostable. Dufour is convinced that packaging integrat-

Anne Uusitalo Product Safety and Sustainability Director at Metsä Board

Mathieu Dufour Packaging Sourcing Domain Head at L’Oréal


By 2030, 100% of L’Oréal’s bio-based ingredients for formulas

and packaging materials will be traceable and will come from sustainable sources, none of them will be linked to deforestation.


In previous years, Metsä Board received individual A grades from CDP, but in 2021, Metsä Board received three A grades for the first time. “Triple-A is a big deal for us. We can show brand owners and converters that our operations are responsible in all respects. It is of the utmost importance for us that what we say is based on facts. When it is appropriate, an external party always verifies our calcula- tions,” says Anne Uusitalo , Product Safety and Sustainability Director at Metsä Board. As part of the CDP assessment, Metsä Board reports on the carbon footprint of the board supplied to L’Oréal and some other big brand owners. “Since 2017, the carbon footprint of the products we deliver to L’Oréal has decreased by 50%,” says Uusitalo. Metsä Board can also calculate different material options’ environ- mental impacts on customers. “We can compare what the CO₂ emissions are if the packaging is metal, glass, plastic, a combination of plastic and board, or just board.” Just as for L’Oréal, EcoVadis is an essential measurement for Metsä Board. This year, Metsä Board again achieved the highest Platinum level. “Besides sustainability, high cor- porate and social responsibility per- formance is essential, both for our stakeholders and us,” says Uusitalo. “Achieving the full 100 score in the Environment section and the Leader status in carbon management assessment is an acknowledge- ment of our journey to fossil-free production and products by the end of 2030.”


Art of packaging

Lighter packaging is better for the environment

Innovative packaging helps keep Crumbl Cookies in the pink While its delicious gourmet treats have made

Crumbl the fastest-growing cookie company in the United States, its signature pink boxes have helped establish the firm as a social media sensation.

Michael Hunt, photos: Crumbl, icons: Icons8


T he Utah-based company has more than 6 million TikTok followers and a further 3 million plus on Ins- to brand building. “Our business model lends itself to content creation on social media,” said Katie Dunn , Crumbl’s Senior Director of Procurement. “The shape, feel and look of our box provides that eye-catching moment.” Already famous for its iconic pink box, designed by company Co-Founder Sawyer Hemsley while he was still in college, Crumbl needed upgraded packaging that would wrap its distinctive brand around its freshly baked cookies in a more economical and environmentally friendly way. So, a year ago, Crumbl turned to Metsä Board for solutions that have helped the company cut costs and reduce waste while maintaining its extensive social media reach. tagram, a testament to the power of packaging when it comes

Metsä Board’s answer: its food-suitable dis- persion barrier board MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB, which provides better protection against grease and moisture for Crumbl in the ship- ment and takeout of its luxury cookies. Boxing millions of cookies each week As a bonus, Metsä Board’s dispersion barri- er board eliminated an extra material from Crumbl’s previous boxes, saving the compa- ny money and contributing to its objective of

“We sell millions of cookies a week. That’s hundreds of thousands of boxes a week.” Katie Dunn, Crumbl’s Senior Director of Procurement

sustainability, while preserving its highly recognizable pink presentation. “We sell millions of cookies a week,” Dunn said. “That’s hundreds of thousands of boxes a week. With Metsä Board’s elimination of extra packaging material, that’s a lot less waste. It was a no-brainer for us.”


According to Metsä Board’s Sales Manager Geoff Petty , Crumbl was able to reduce the weight of the package by 32 percent and reduce its carbon footprint by more than 50 percent by using Metsä Board’s dispersion barrier board. “It’s also nice because MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB eliminates plastics,” he said. “It’s 100 percent recyclable. It also provides a very light barrier for grease resistance, as the cook- ies are still warm when they go into the boxes.” The barrier board has a protective layer that pro- tects Crumbl’s cookies from moisture during ship- ment. The boxes are sized to hold one, four, six or 12 cookies. Petty added that Metsä Board’s atten- tion to quality control kept Crumbl’s famous pink color consistent from box to box. Rapid growth with sustainably Founded five years ago by Hemsley and his cousin Jason McGowan , Crumbl began with one store in Logan, Utah. It now has more than 500 U.S. loca-

tions, with plans to open between 40 and 50 stores a month throughout the country. Hemsley and McGowan were able to tap into Generation Z sensibilities to build their brand on social media. Part of that message has included a responsibility to the planet. “When Sawyer found out about the opportunity to work with Metsä Board, it was an opportuni- ty for us to greatly reduce waste,” Dunn said. “We take that very seriously. We wanted to do our part. That was a huge element of the decision to work with Metsä Board with our iconic pink packaging.” Sweet collaboration Packaging is crucial to Crumbl because its cook- ies are large, almost the size of a compact disk. The cookies are also sweeter than most gourmet brands, with more milk chocolate and butter- cream frosting than their competitors. The cookies can be served warm or chilled and are rotated to feature four or five different types a


Art of packaging

Katie Dunn Senior Director of Procurement at Crumbl

Geoff Petty Sales Manager at Metsä Board

week, from Crumbl’s classic milk chocolate chip to more exotic flavors like banana cream pie. Crumbl offers takeout, local delivery, curbside pickup, shipping throughout the United States and catering. Protecting its delicacies was a challenge met by Metsä Board, but its collaboration with Crumbl has been something more than a normal business relationship. “Beyond just getting the cookies into boxes, this has been a true partnership,” Dunn said. “We’ve been able to rely on their expertise. “We recognize how important it is when work- ing with the paperboard industry to keep the board coming in every month. There’s been no supply chain disruption. You can’t sell cookies without packaging. It’s a stress-reliever knowing that we will have the board.” •

MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB dispersion barrier board is suitable for food that requires resistance to grease or moisture. It is also 100% recyclable.



All aboard paperboard!

Sustainability challenges the global packaging industry to find future- proof, deep-green innovations.

Sami Anteroinen, photos: Jussi Hellsten

T he global packaging industry is experiencing a disruption like never before – and paperboard packaging has emerged as one of the key enablers of a more sustainable future. Paperboard is assuming center stage, as the dramat- ic shift to online shopping is only increasing momentum – at the same time, consumers are becoming greener by the minute, holding big brands accountable for their actions. Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company recently published a new report, “2022 and Beyond for Packaging CEOs: The Priorities for Resilience”, which addresses the dawn of this new era in packaging. Published in March 2022, the report talks about “trans- formational change,” noting that the pace of change is accelerating rapidly. “Sustainability, e-commerce, and digitalization: These are the megatrends shaping this era,” says Partner Matthew Seidner , one of the authors of the report. That’s not to say that companies were not keen on sus- tainability issues before, but the focus is much more intense now. “Sustainability has previously been ‘a nice thing to have’ issue, whereas now it’s a priority for brand- owners,” says Seidner. Reinventing packaging Packaging is one obvious area where one can make adif- ference via sustainable methods and materials. “There is a big push in the packaging industry for more sustainable materials,” Seidner says.

Read the report by McKinsey & Company “2022 and Beyond for Packaging CEOs: The Priorities for Resilience”




“Paperboards are a proven and feasible circular lower-carbon alternative that lessens the impact of packaging on the environment.” Anu Rehtijärvi, Market Intelligence Manager, Metsä Board

The report notes that as new regulations emerge in response to global consumer concerns, “green- washing” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Capital alloca- tion is already based on the sustainability and per- formance of businesses that will be focusing their attention through three lenses: decreased leakage, improved circularity, and a reduced carbon footprint. “As a response, we expect to see a more balanced understanding of true sustainability,” Seidner adds. In the field, there are now stronger efforts to commercialize packaging innovations, as well as better marketing of their performance, for example, showing the carbon footprint printed on packages. Future-proof your business model According to the report, sustainability pressures will also create challenges for substrate players that rely on materials that are now being phased out. “Plastic as a material is not going away anytime soon. However, plastic may be substituted more and more with paperboard, for example.” Seidner finds that the would-be industry winners must update and future-proof their business models and market approaches if they are to come out on top in the race. “Industry leaders are already doing this. For example, the innovations coming from paperboard companies such as Metsä Board and others are super exciting.”

Regulation rules, OK? Marko Summanen , VP Forest Vertical in the EU for consultancy Fisher International, believes that the biggest driver of the current transformation is regulation. “Consumers don’t usually change their behavior simultaneously – regulation is needed to steer behavior in the right direction. Regulation also brings transparency in the future. That makes investment decisions easier,” he says. Change is often slow, even with simple things. “Waste is still being incinerated all over Europe when one should be pursuing circular economy objectives,” says Summanen, offering an example. “The EU wants citizens/companies to create value from waste, meaning more revenue and local work- places. That can only be a good thing.” Every sustainability case is different Assessing the development trends in the packaging industry, Summanen notes that paperboard is a strong champion of sustainability, but it is not the only one. “It would be easy to say that fiber-based or bio- based packaging is always the way to go, but that’s not always the case. It’s a big challenge to find the really sustainable solutions for different foods, for example.” Still, as long as functionality issues are taken care of, paperboard is a great alternative to plastic.

Matthew Seidner Partner at McKinsey

Marko Summanen VP Forest Vertical in EU at Fisher International

Michael George Sales Director, Americas at Metsä Board


Joe Nellis Sales Director, Americas at Metsä Board

Markku Leskelä Senior Vice President, Development at Metsä Board

Anu Rehtijärvi Market Intelligence Manager at Metsä Board


1% Lightweighting a carton by 1% means millions of cartons per day.



“Despite the already high recycling rates in paperboard packaging – the highest of all packaging materials – the industry is working hard to further reduce the carbon impact and to increase recycling rates.” Anu Rehtijärvi, Market Intelligence Manager, Metsä Board

“In the factories, production lines with plastic packaging solutions can be converted to paperboard. It costs money, but it’s probably a good investment.” Availability avails Michael George , Sales Director, Americas, for Metsä Board, believes that in today’s market, availability is number one, and sustainability is “a very close second.” “The market is moving towards increasing sustainability with respect to raw materials through design and fit-for-purpose packaging. The days of one-design-for-all products seem to be ending as more and more companies are opting for optimized packaging for their products,” says George. For Metsä Board in the Americas, there are two key products in this regard: FBB (folding boxboard) and WKL (white-top kraft- liner). FBB is primarily used in primary and secondary packaging, whereas WKL is typically used in secondary or tertiary packaging. “Both FBB and WKL perform similar functions to offer better product protection, but in different ways,” comments George. “FBB is more of a stand-alone, whereas WKL is part of or a total solution. In both cases, we offer a great print surface, competitive foot- print, and sustainability advantages.” Lighter, but still a fighter Talking about the FBB side of the business, George points out that Metsä Board is able to offer design adjustments, as well as lighter

weight paperboard to perform the necessary functions. “For instance, we have been able to offer an overall reduction of carton weight of 11.7 percent to one of our largest customers without sacrificing any of the qualities of the product,” George says, adding that fiber-based packag- ing has “so much versatility” in today’s market- place. For Metsä Board’s FBB, George sees the greatest benefit as twofold: The company can lower a partner’s carbon impact on the environment while also offering an “incredibly smooth” printing surface that competes at the highest graphical end uses, as well as foil lamination. “This is achieved through our more modern equipment and, of course, our use of high- quality Nordic fibers and pulps that are incred- ibly consistent.” Lightweighting gains ground Sales Director Joe Nellis from Metsä Board, Americas, says that sustainability continues to be a big focus for WKL customers. “For example, we have started to explore more lightweighting options for corrugated board, with a few progressing into production over the last 12 months.” Nellis notes that the company’s Kemi mill, a WKL maker, is uniquely situated to support lightweighting in the market. “This option offers significant cost sav- ings while achieving aggressive sustainability targets in a very competitive market,” he says.



According to Nellis, both WKL and FBB are hard to beat since they provide market-leading performance and quality with “an unmatched” common stock warehousing program. There are differences, too, starting with the size of the respective market. “In WKL, we maintain a large percentage of the overall market in North America. In FBB, Metsä Board swims in a much larger pool.” Delivering R&D edge Currently, Metsä Board’s R&D is hard at work developing even better paperboard solu- tions. Markku Leskelä , Senior Vice President, Development at Metsä Board, perceives light- weighting and barrier development to be at the very core of Metsä Board’s R&D. “If you look at lightweighting, for instance, there’s just so much one can achieve due to the fact that the packaging volumes are so huge. One calculation example: if big global brands used all our FBB to make 19-gram (0.67 oz.) cookie boxes, it would make 160 million boxes every day. Even the tiniest change in the mate- rials used can make a huge difference.” It should also be noted that Metsä Board’s ambition level goes well beyond “tiny.” Leskelä explains that the R&D teams use a unique simulation tool that helps them to really zero in on the structure of the would-be package. “Via simulation, we can really optimize each and every packaging solution,” Leskelä says,

adding that Metsä Board R&D has been using this simulation tech for about three years now. “Simulation has made our work a lot more effective. We can now get a viable simulation approximation of the desired package within a couple of days.” When barriers go green The other game changer is the use of advanced barriers. MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB, for exam- ple, is a dispersion-coated barrier paperboard with a medium barrier that works against grease and moisture. “Protecting the package from the moisture and grease within the food is what the barriers do, and there is also a great deal of versatility there.” Barriers can be green, too. The packaging industry is reducing the amount of polymers in barrier coatings, which entails replacing the extrusion barrier with a dispersion barrier in paperboards, for example. “Already, 90 percent of our barrier boards are fiber-based, and we have plans in place to make all our barriers from renewable materials.” Working with paradigm-busting barriers and lightweighting solutions is still just a part of the Metsä Board “innovation train” that only keeps gaining momentum. “We need research and fresh ideas to make the sustainable packaging solutions of the future. The challenge is not exactly a small one, but I feel we’re very capable of handling it.” •


50 % The first-ever national recycling goal of 50 percent by 2030 in the USA was announced in 2020.


Examples of regulation and other initiatives to reduce packaging waste: • 175 nations endorsed a resolution at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi in March 2022 to end plastic pollution, and to forge an international legally binding agreement by the end of 2024. • The European Union’s “Single-Use Plastics Directive” (SUPD), has banned certain single-use plastic items such as disposable plates, straws and cutlery, and is expecting member states to reduce the use of single-use beverage cups and food containers – including plastic coated or lined paper cups and containers – by 2026. • In the European Union, the review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) is ongoing. The European Commission is expected to give their proposal by the end of 2022, including targets to increase the reuse of packaging and recycled content in plastics packaging. • The first-ever national recycling goal of 50 percent by 2030 in the USA was announced in November 2020. • In the USA, an increasing number of cities (e.g. New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles) and states have banned expanded polystyrene (EPS) foodservice containers and plastic straws. • In the State of California, there is a binding obligation to reduce the use of plastics in single-use packaging by 10 percent by 2027 and 25 percent by 2032, e.g., by using lighter weight packaging, alternative packaging materials, or reusable packaging.



Metsä Board’s Sustainability Service

Carbon number crunching – how big is your footprint? The term carbon footprint is probably familiar, but what does it really mean, and how can it be used to make more sustainable packaging choices?

Charlie Bass, illustration: Leo Tomaszewski

T he carbon footprint of a product or service refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted during its life-cycle. Carbon footprint, or glob- al warming potential as it is more precisely termed, is one of the environmental impact categories that can be measured in a life cycle assessment. To calculate it cred- ibly, good-quality data from two different sources are essential: primary data from a company’s own systems and secondary data from external data sets and literature. “Primary data should cover all relevant activities and raw materials used in creating the product, and the secondary data need to be representative,” explains Lari Oksala , Sustainability Specialist at Metsä Board. “For example, when performing calculations for our paperboards, we follow industry-specific Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) standards and use data sets that are representative, such as sustainable forestry in the Nordic region where our wood raw material is grown.” But not all carbon footprints calculations are creat- ed equal. “When we’re talking about carbon footprint calculation, it’s really important to remember scope and methodology, because they can vary – meaning the re- sults of different calculations are not necessarily compa- rable,” says Oksala. “For example, the scope defines the parts of the value chain that are included, while the meth- odology describes how the various environmental impact categories are used. The sources need to be used consistently to ensure an accurate result.” “At Metsä Board, to calculate the carbon footprint of a package, we measure the weight of each material

used. Using data from our own paperboards and values from data sets for other materials, we then calculate the life-cycle impact of each material, combining them to make an overall result.” Supporting more sustainable packaging choices Accurate information about a paperboard’s carbon footprint helps Metsä Board’s customers develop packaging with a lower environmental impact and means they can be fully transparent when communicating with consumers. “Customers can use carbon footprint calculations when evaluating the whole life-cycle of a packaging material, helping them to make better decisions about which materials to use,” Oksala says. “A carbon footprint is something you cannot evaluate simply by looking at a package. Just like forest certifications such as PEFC or FSC®, it provides brand own- ers and consumers with additional information to help them make more sustainable choices,” explains Oksala. Life-cycle analysis calculations performed by Metsä Board have shown that swapping rigid PET plastic with MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB paperboard – for example, in a tomato box or cookie tray – can reduce the carbon foot- print of a package by as much as 80 percent. •

Metsä Board’s Sustainability Service helps customers reduce the environmental impact of their packaging by providing accurate information about the carbon footprint of its paperboard products.


Lari Oksala Sustainability Specialist at Metsä Board

Case study: Viipurilainen Kotileipomo

New packaging designs co-created with Metsä Board’s packaging design team

~ 50 % smaller carbon footprint

100 recyclable and compostable Packaging designs use MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB paperboard, one with a cellophane window, and one without


Calculations showed that the carbon foot- print was reduced by ~40% for the window version and by ~50% for the windowless version

“A carbon footprint is something you cannot evaluate simply by looking at a package.”

25 % less material usage

Life cycle analysis calculations showed that the new designs reduced material requirements by 25%

* Metsä Board’s board and pulp mills have PEFC (02-31-92) and FSC® (C001580) Chain of Custody certificates.



For more than 30 years, Metsä Board has delivered premium paperboard products to the Americas with its commitment to superior service. Committed to superior service

Michael Hunt, photos: Stephen Yang

The 83,334-square-meter (897,000-square-foot) Baltimore warehouse handles 362,873 metric tons (400,000 tons) of paperboard reels annually.


A dding to that tradition, Metsä Board has further developed its service concept model involving common stock and its new warehouse in Balti- more, Maryland. Based on sales forecasts, the Baltimore warehouse is regularly replenished with popular stand- ard sizes, or common stock, giving customers quick acc- ess to ready-made material. With up to four cargo ships arriving each month at the Port of Baltimore warehouse from Metsä Board’s mills in Finland and Sweden, America’s customers benefit with fast service from the company’s efficient ordering model. “The Metsä Board Common Stock concept has been game-changing in the paperboard industry,” said Dorothy Geyer , Supply Chain Director at Metsä Board Americas Corporation in Norwalk, Connecticut. Instant product availability Another advantage, Geyer said, is that instant product availability at the Baltimore warehouse means customers save time by not having to order from the mill. “They can get it to their plant, depending on where they are, sometimes even the very next day,” she said. “Be- sides the faster delivery time, the inventory is managed by Metsä Board, so the customer doesn’t need to think about what they need to replenish. That’s another bene- fit for the customer.” According to Michael George , Sales Director at Metsä Board Americas, the ability to maintain a reliable supply chain allows the company to better manage stock levels and quickly react to changes in market demands.

Dorothy Geyer, Supply Chain Director for Metsä Board Americas, says the common-stock program has been a game changer for the paperboard industry.

Instant product availability from the Baltimore warehouse allows customers to save time by not having to order from the mill.


By expanding its warehouse capacity, Metsä Board Americas helps its customers by providing greater access to the common-stock program.

“This model also gives customers the ability to buy what they need when they need it without having to carry inventory on their own floor,” George said. “And having material available to trial new opportunities without a long lead time is another advantage of this model.” Upgraded U.S. and European facilities Metsä Board signed 2020 a contract with BalTerm to lease the 83,334-square-meter (897,000-square- foot) warehouse, which handles 362,873 metric tons (400,000 tons) of paperboard reels annually. By con- solidating its Mid-Atlantic operations in Baltimore, Metsä Board can improve transportation services, en- hance its supply-chain efforts, and reduce costs. “We needed someone to partner with that could all- ow us to manage the ebb and flow of many challeng- ing market conditions,” said Joe Nellis , Sales Director for Metsä Board Americas. “Surge in demand, ship- ment delays and inclement weather could all affect service to our customers. Having inventory on hand allows us to overcome most routine issues that would expose the traditional mill direct model more com- monly found in the U.S.” Metsä Board’s Americas service model will become even more efficient in the future. An expansion of its folding boxboard mill in Husum, Sweden, will increase

Metsä Board Americas has enhanced supply-chain efforts by consolidating its Mid-Atlantic operations to Baltimore.

capacity by 200,000 metric tons (220,462 tons) a year. Metsä Board will also increase capacity of its white kraftliner mill in Kemi Finland, in the same location where Metsä Group’s new bioproduct mill will also start operations at the same time. Metsä Board also has a smaller warehouse in Jackson- ville, Florida, which is mostly used for custom orders. Ensuring supply-chain security Metsä Board brings two products into the United States: white kraftliner, which is board used in the corrugated packaging used mainly for premium im- age reproduction when packaging requires a luxury appearance; and folding boxboard, lightweight premi- um board for consumer packaging.



“Expanding our warehouse capacity gives us the op- portunity to increase our common stock program. It brings more reliability to the customers, and the fore- casting is easier. It’s just more efficient.” Metsä Board’s Americas operation is gradually transitioning its customers more toward the use of common stock. In the meantime, the company will continue to emphasize supply chain security in an everchanging global market. “Our logistics team understands the importance of continual supply,” Nellis said. “We have fantastic part- ners that have allowed us to fare better than most over the last few years.” •



Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland, is scheduled to be completed in 2023. Each year it will produce 1.5 million metric tons (1.65 million tons) of pulp. Part of it will be used to make white kraftliner for customers who require premium image reproduction and high production performance.

Metsä Board is increasing its folding boxboard capacity from 400,000 metric tons (440,924 tons) a year to 600,000 metric tons (661,386 tons) in Husum, Sweden. The customers who will benefit most from this larger production are those who depend on quality packaging for food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Up to four ships monthly arrive in Baltimore from Metsä Board’s mills in Finland and Sweden to provide quick service for its customers.


Excellence Centre offers an efficient development platform for packaging. From left: Metsä Board’s Packaging Services Specialist Siri Korsgren, Packaging Services Director Mark Beamesderfer and Packaging Services Specialist Raul Cisneros.


Resource efficiency

Metsä Board’s Packaging Design Service

Packaging matters for a sustainable future Packaging is a vital component of our society that protects products, enabling safe transportation and handling while minimizing product damage and waste. The packaging of the future must fulfill its primary objectives – and have minimal environmental impact.

Marja Berisa & Silja Eisto, photo: Hanne Manelius

T his is how Packaging Services Director Mark Beamesderfer , Metsä Board Americas, summarizes the importance of packaging. “The key role of packaging is to protect the product, keep it fresh, and prevent waste. Failing in that is the least sustaina- ble option,” he says. Yet we can – and must – do more. The need for more resource-efficient packaging is constantly growing. “We need to utilize our resources more efficiently for the safety and health of our planet,” Beamesderfer says. Sustainable packaging means responsible use of renewable raw materials and efficiency in production. We also need to continue the lightweighting of packaging materials. “Lightweighting is a result of our modern board-making process and special pulp recipes,” Beamesderfer says, con- tinuing: “Metsä Board’s engineered folding boxboards (FBB) utilize a three-layer structure that creates a light but stiff sheet. Light-

er-weight FBB can be used to substitute higher-weight tradi- tional and recycled paperboards while maintaining or even improving the overall structural integrity of the package.” For customers, lightweighting means notable sustainabili- ty and yield benefits: Fewer natural resources are used, and the carbon footprint of the packaging gets smaller. Also, less transportation and fuels are needed and there is less waste. Beamesderfer finds that recyclability and fit-for-purpose thinking need to be at the heart of the design process. More efficient structural design results in less material used. It’s about reducing the size of the package. Proper imposition, nest- ing, and minimizing the overall size of the sheet also reduce manufacturing waste. “Our Excellence Centre offers an effective development platform for packaging. The Centre’s packaging design stu- dio and a computer-based simulation tool (CAE) enable us to analyze and model the packaging performance and optimize material weight and structures.” •


1. Use raw materials produced from sustainably managed forests, and when reusing fiber materials, find out where they were sourced. Avoid plastics whenever possible.

5. Get involved in certification programs, and when taking new steps toward sustainability, let your customers know.

2. Find out how the paperboards are manufactured at mills. Favor fossil-fuel-free operators.

3. Find solutions that use fewer packaging materials. Choose lightweight paperboards and favor designs without plastic windows.

4. Ask questions – manufacturers must be able to give specific details about their sustainability status.

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