Sustainability is a hot topic across all industries. For Metsä Board, sustainability is a key priority and at the forefront of everything we do. All our raw material comes from responsibly managed sources, and we place special emphasis on energy and water efficiency at all our operations.
In 2017, Metsä Board was once again acknowledged by CDP, the organisation managing the world’s largest environmental reporting system. We made its ‘Water A List’ for the third year in a row and the ‘Climate A List’ for the second year in a row. We were also granted Leadership status in CDP’s Forests programme.
These are notable recognitions for all the work we have been carrying out for many years. It shows to me that we are on the right track with our actions and that our approach towards resource efficiency is coherent.
I feel honoured to have been invited for the second time to the CDP’s panel discussions which took place in late November. This year the discussions covered important themes such as: Science Based Target-setting as means of improving competitive advantage in a transition to a low-carbon economy and the growing importance of sustainability actions for investors.
When we consider the most efficient approaches for more sustainable operations, it is essential to understand that things are connected to each other. For example, efficient water usage often results in savings both in energy and costs – efficiency and cost savings go hand in hand.
There are several ongoing projects at our mills which will improve our energy efficiency and efficient water usage. Sustainability issues are also considered in the investments that we make and in our R&D work for developing lighter weight and resource-efficient paperboards. We focus on fresh fibre paperboards that keep the recycling loop alive and answer perfectly to the needs of circular economy.
The Paris Agreement seeks to create a systematic change in how companies set emission reduction targets so that global warming would remain well below 2°C. Metsä Board is strongly committed to these targets for combating climate change. In fact we are progressing well against our targets for reducing CO2 emissions with levels reducing by 45% when we look at 2016 compared to 2009. Investments in more efficient technology and renewable energy production will help us to cut these emissions even further. Metsä Group’s new bioproduct mill does not use any fossil fuels and thus supports the development towards a carbon neutral society.
The commitment of senior management is important for pursuing these goals. Sustainability targets and actions should be initiated and driven by the company’s top management to ensure engagement throughout the business. In this way, we will constantly improve.