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100% fossil-free in ten years

Folding boxboard mother reels
Words: Henrik Ekblom Ystén
Photo: Metsä Board

Metsä Board’s sustainability goals for the next ten years include fossil-free mills and a 100 per cent sustainable supply chain, where reducing CO₂ emissions in transportation is an essential part. To accomplish the latter, the Finnish paperboard company has chosen WALLENIUS SOL and its environmentally friendly transportation concept.

JARMO TOIKKA, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT at Metsä Group, describes Finland as ‘almost an island’ when it comes to exporting. The main markets for their fresh fibre paperboards are situated elsewhere and the products have to be transported far away – to the heart of Europe, Asia or the United States.

”With that comes the challenge of being efficient and finding the best solutions possible to reduce costs, while living up to our high sustainability standards and delivery reliability. Our products and services have to be high quality, so we need the right partners to maintain the same high standards in everything we do,” says Jarmo Toikka.

Folding boxboard roll and Jarmo Toikka

Jarmo Toikka, senior vice president at Metsä Group belives that WALLENIUS SOL will help them become more sustainable.

The shipping agreement with WALLENIUS SOL, which comes into force by the beginning of 2021, is one way of meeting this challenge. 

”We needed to find an alternative for transportation. Previously, there was only one vessel available, so shipping by sea was a pretty risky operation. But with WALLENIUS SOL we have access to commercial shipping services operating in the specific areas we need – the Baltic Sea and the North Sea,” says Jarmo Toikka.

From road to waterways

Businesswise, the agreement overcomes earlier obstacles and provides good potential for growth. Metsä Group will look more towards the north in the future, as it is currently planning a new bioproduct mill investment in Kemi. Previously, Metsä Board Kemi deliveries had to be shipped from Kemi to Hanko or Helsinki by train or truck. Thanks to the agreement with WALLENIUS SOL, Metsä Board will be able to ship the deliveries directly from the Port of Kemi instead.

”We used to deliver to our customers in for example France and Belgium by truck from Lübeck. This new project enables us to shift from road to waterways, shortening road transportation distances and reducing our CO₂ emissions,” says Jarmo Toikka and continues: 

”Our goal is to have fossil free mills by 2030, but it’s also very important that our supply chain is sustainable and that our partners operate responsibly. Metsä Board puts great emphasis on innovation, both in products and services, and WALLENIUS SOL’s use of environmentally friendly LNG-fuelled vessels suited our ambitions perfectly.”

With high sustainability standards comes a need for continuity, according to Jarmo Toikka.

”To achieve our goals, we need partners who can help us in our mission. And it’s also important for us to work in long term commitments, which is why we signed up for the next ten years with WALLENIUS SOL.”

Jarmo Toikka has high expectations regarding the collaboration. 

”I’m glad we made this deal, and I’m confident WALLENIUS SOL will help us become more efficient and also more sustainable moving forward.”