Last updateThu, 26 May 2022 10am

Sustainability starts at the source: deforestation not an issue in Finland 360-degree service supports customers with environmentally friendly packaging

Making packaging sustainable, safe and yet attractive is becoming increasingly important. The expectations and wishes of many consumers are accelerating this development, as are stricter regulations.

Metsä Board, a leading European producer of premium virgin fibre-based board and a member of the Metsä Group, has been addressing the issue of sustainability for many years and has created excellent conditions for offering sustainable board for environmentally sound packaging. On the one hand, the company is located in one of the most heavily forested countries in the world and is locally committed to the responsible use of wood as a raw material. On the other hand, Metsä Board has bundled its knowledge of virgin fibre-based board into a 360° service concept that offers its customers measurable benefits across the entire packaging value chain and is designed, among other things, to help them select and optimise sustainable packaging.
Almost 75 per cent of Finland's land area is covered by forests. That is about 10 per cent of the forested area in the whole of Europe and makes Finland one of the most densely forested countries in the world. Keeping it that way is one of Metsä Board's major goals. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the planet's forested area has shrunk by around 180 million hectares over the past thirty years. In Finland, on the other hand, the amount of forested land has remained stable, and the number of trees in these forests has even grown. Apart from a forest law that stipulates that new forests must always be replanted after a regeneration cut, this circumstance is not least due to the fact that in Finland forests are seen as a value and sustainable security to be passed on to the next generation in an even better condition. For private forest owners, therefore, environmental protection and economic forest management go hand in hand, whereas in other countries competing forms of land use often contribute to deforestation. This can be seen in concrete terms, for example, in the afforestation of Finnish forests: Metsä Board provides more than 30 million seedlings to forest owners every year. These are planted to ensure the regeneration of the forests.
But it is not only the quantity of trees available that counts - forest biodiversity is also a priority. Metsä Group has therefore actively developed solutions to promote forest biodiversity, for example, the amount of deadwood in Finnish forests needs to be increased. Therefore, since 2016, stumps with high biodiversity have been left standing in logging areas, as standing hardwood is a habitat for many species found in the forest. 84 per cent of forest owners working with Metsä Board have chosen to participate. As a result, the number of tree stumps with high biodiversity per hectare has recently doubled.
In addition to its commitment to the forest, it is equally important to educate customers about the many options for sustainable packaging. Therefore, the company has combined its extensive expertise in the field of cartonboard and packaging into a 360° service concept that offers measurable benefits across the entire value chain. In the sustainability service, for example, the company analyses compliance and maximises the sustainability of cartonboard packaging together with the customer. The packaging design service not only optimises the product experience at the POS, but also environmental compatibility at the same time. With the technical service, Metsä Board increases processing efficiency and packaging performance. In the R&D service, the company offers extensive testing procedures and explores new uses for virgin fibre-based board together with the customer and a wide range of partners. And to complete the package, the Finnish cartonboard producer ensures prompt, sustainable and reliable cartonboard deliveries around the world with its supply chain and digital service. With this offering, the company aims to help reduce the environmental impact of packaging and help their customers reduce fossil CO2 emissions in their value chain.



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