Guylian’s seashell and seahorse-shaped Belgian chocolates, with their shiny marbled exterior, are a familiar sight and taste for consumers all around the world. The company manufactures chocolate up to 75 tonnes every day at its facility in Sint-Niklaas in Belgium, carefully packed into bright, white boxes that are as iconic as the sweet treats inside.
Sustainability and conservation are at the core of Guylian’s business. The company has supported the Project Seahorse marine conservation project for over two decades, and it also contributes to initiatives to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and ensure cocoa is responsibly sourced.
Enhancing sustainability credentials with forest certification
The company was keen to add another logo alongside the Project Seahorse logo that adorns its boxes: forestry certification for the paperboard used to make them. “As we supply the converter serving Guylian with paperboards, Guylian contacted us to find out more about the forest certification process and how to get started,” says Tom Symons, Sales Manager Benelux at Metsä Board.
“Guylian is constantly looking for ways to make its business and products more sustainable, and its packaging materials are an important part of this. We worked closely with the company to help them understand the requirements of FSC® and PEFC™ certification and what they needed to do in order to be able to display a certification logo on their boxes,” Tom continues.
“Choosing sustainably sourced packaging materials is becoming increasingly important for consumer-facing brands in particular,” observes Anne Uusitalo, Director, Product Safety & Sustainability at Metsä Board. “We can help them by providing trustworthy, fact-based information and expert advice on the requirements for using forest certification labelling on their products.”
Knowledge sharing and collaboration with a trusted expert
Metsä Board’s team of sustainability experts put together a comprehensive package of information for Guylian and worked through the practical steps they would need to take, including how to work together with their converters. “Once Guylian had opted to pursue PEFC certification, we helped them liaise with PEFC Belgium so they could plan the next steps. We also held a number of online and face-to-face sessions to go through questions, concerns and next steps,” says Tom.
“As a supplier of certified paperboard we were in an ideal position to act as an adviser to Guylian, providing them with all the information and support they needed when pursuing certification,” Anne explains. “We have an excellent relationship with the Guylian organisation and are very pleased to have been able to help them achieve their goal. The PEFC logo has been proudly displayed on all their chocolate boxes since April 2020,” Tom concludes.