The environmental impact of a product is generated over its entire life cycle and is affected by the raw materials, the production process and transport, and by how the product is used, recycled and disposed of. Our lightweight products, produced resource-efficiently and principally from renewable raw material, meet the needs of the circular economy well. All our paperboards are recyclable, and with the help of good packaging design and initiatives to promote recycling, our goal is for our products to be recycled.
The results of a life cycle analysis (LCA) are impacted by the chosen system boundaries and methods: the wider the system boundary, the more environmental impacts are reported. Due to differences in system boundaries and methods, when comparing products manufactured by different companies one must consider not only the analysis results but also the limitations that affect those results, such as which stages of the production chain the life cycle analysis includes.
At Metsä Board we follow the environmental impact of our paperboards with life cycle analyses prepared in accordance with the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards. Some of the most common impact categories considered in a life cycle analysis are global warming potential (GWP), acidification, eutrophication and primary energy consumption. From the perspective of paperboard’s climate impact and carbon footprint, the energy mix used in its production and the lightness of the material are the most relevant factors. The carbon footprint of our products will become even smaller as we move towards 100% fossil-free energy use in our production processes. At its best, the carbon footprint of packaging made from our fresh fibre paperboard is currently more than 50% smaller than that of packaging of an equivalent stiffness made from recycled fibre or solid bleached board (Ecoinvent database).
A product’s carbon footprint describes the fossil carbon dioxide emissions over its life cycle. Metsä Board's carbon footprint calculation is extensive and based on the Confederation of European Paper Industries Ten Toes methodology. The calculation covers carbon dioxide emissions from harvesting, the production of other raw materials and fuels, purchased energy, and process fuels for pulp and paperboard production. The calculation also includes the amount of biogenic carbon bound to the product.
If you are interested in a product-specific life cycle analysis or carbon footprint calculation, please contact us.