Sustainability at Metsä Board

We carefully consider the economic, social and environmental impacts of all our operations

Promoting sustainable bioeconomy

Metsä Board is committed to the principles of sustainability. We carefully consider the economic, social and environmental impacts of all our operations.

Respect for human rights and ethical decision-making guide our business. We are a major employer in many localities, and an active member of the local communities where we operate.

Our main raw material is renewable fresh fibre that originates from sustainably managed forests. We always know the origin of the fibre we use and expect that our partners within the supply chain also operate responsibly.

Metsä Board’s operations are located in areas with rich forest and water resources, but still we use materials and energy resource-wisely. We continuously assess our operations to ensure they are efficient and strive for minimising environmental impacts. We are also a major producer of renewable energy, and we constantly aim to increase the share of renewable energy as part of our total energy consumption.

Our lightweight paperboards are a good example of products that are sustainable throughout their life cycle. All Metsä Board products are recyclable, and they offer excellent alternatives to more carbon-intensive products.

Sustainability and social responsibility are important to us as well as to our business partners, customers, and investors. At Metsä Board we emphasise the importance of maintaining direct and transparent dialogues on sustainability issues with our key stakeholders.

Fresh fibre paperboards offer solutions to major challenges

Mitigating increased waste generation due to urbanisation
The solution: paperboard is recyclable – and widely recycled

Replacing fossil-based materials, i.e. plastics
The solution: renewable and biodegradable wood fibre

Reducing carbon footprint
The solution: renewable energy, efficient energy and water usage

Ensuring food safety
The solution: pure and safe fresh fibres in food packaging

Commitment and values

    Metsä Board values and commitment

Sustainability is integrated into our business

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Metsä Board is committed to promote sustainable development in all our business activities and operations, to continuously improve our operations and to conduct our business sustainably.

To demonstrate our resolve we are committed to the ten principles of the UN Global Compact initiative. These principles particularly highlight a respect for human and labour rights, environmental responsibility, and measures to combat corruption. The Sustainability Principles of Metsä Group are based on these widely respected principles, and Metsä Board follows them seamlessly.

We closely monitor developments in the regulatory frameworks that affect our operations and markets. Our advocacy on these issues is mainly channelled through industry and trade associations at national, European and international levels.

Sustainability targets and progress

    Sustainability targets

Sustainability targets guide our operations

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Metsä Board's sustainability actions are guided by Metsä Group’s strategic sustainability objectives and targets which were renewed in early 2019. These objectives extending to 2030 cover all Metsä Group operations, including Metsä Board, and are mirrored across the supply chain. The 2030 objectives also support reaching the global Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, set by the United Nations.

The 2030 sustainability targets are a continuation of our previous sustainability targets which guided our operations until the end of 2018. In addition, Metsä Board is committed to the Science Based Targets initiative to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement: limiting global warming to less than two degrees of Celsius.

We create well-being

Well-being at work

Well-being at work and in society​

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Metsä Board’s operations create economic and social value to stakeholders at a local, national and international level. We generate employment opportunities, contribute to the livelihood of communities, add to the value of national exports and offer safe products that can reduce dependence on fossil-based resources.

At Metsä Board we see the well-being of our personnel as essential, and we continuously develop and promote occupational health and safety as well as well-being. Safety at work is our top priority. We closely monitor and report on sickness absenteeism and accident rates throughout Metsä Board, to assess progress towards our ambitious targets. This enables us to promptly identify and address any issues that might threaten our employees’ safety or work capacity.

The key elements of our efforts to enhance safety at work involve encouraging the right attitude and implementing proactive measures. It is vital to us that our employees come to work healthy and leave work healthy every day. Good management lays the foundation for well-being at work and healthy workplace communities. Common practices and systems applied throughout Metsä Board support our safety management work and enhance job satisfaction.

We offer sustainable choices

Sustainable paperboard packaging

Sustainable products, services and innovations

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Global megatrends, such as population growth and urbanisation, are increasing the need for packaging. At the same time, the requirements of packaging are increasing: the ethicalness of a business, minimising the environmental impacts, improving the recyclability of packages, and product safety are all gaining importance.

At Metsä Board we work to meet the high sustainability standards of our customers and other stakeholders and offer better solutions in line with the principles of circular bioeconomy. We use wood fibre from sustainably managed forests, and all our paperboards are recyclable depending on the local infrastructure or they can be incinerated for energy recovery or composted after the primary use.

Metsä Board’s products are safe throughout their life cycle, both in respect to their manufacture and the raw materials they contain. The traceability of the raw materials used in manufacturing is particularly important for paperboards that will be in contact with food. Metsä Board always knows the origins of the wood and pulp that it uses and carefully controls the chemicals used in paperboard production.

The requirements and regulations for materials in contact with food are only a starting point. Metsä Board’s products meet the strictest international standards, and often surpass the requirements of local or regional legislation. Metsä Board’s paperboards and the chemicals used to manufacture them do not contain any harmful compounds.

We bring the forest to you

Sustainable forestry

Sustainable forestry and supply chain

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The main raw material of Metsä Board’s products is wood grown in sustainably managed northern European forests. In Finland and Sweden, where Metsä Board procures most of its wood, the annual forest growth exceeds the amounts of wood harvested annually.

We know the origins of all the wood we use, whether it comes from certified forests or forests that are otherwise controlled. Metsä Board's PEFC™ and FSC® Chain-of-Custody systems ensure that the origins of wood we use are traceable in all the countries where we procure wood.

Metsä Board fulfils the obligations of the European Union Timber Regulation (EU 995/2010) and the US Lacey Act, which both prohibit the marketing of illegally harvested timber and timber products. Also, PEFC and FSC Chain-of-Custody ensure that the wood we use is never harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights nor in forests with high conservation values. Chain-of-Custody systems also prohibit the use of genetically modified trees.



We work for a better climate and environment

Paperboards environmental impacts

High quality paperboards with less environmental impact

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Metsä Board is among the top companies to have received a place on the CDP’s Climate A list and Water A list. A place on the both lists is recognition of the measures Metsä Board has taken to reduce climate and water risks in its operations, and to develop low-carbon solutions and responsible water use.

At Metsä Board we focus on improving the efficiency of our material, energy and water usage, and we constantly aim to increase the share of renewable energy as part of our energy consumption.

Since 2009 we have reduced emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from our production processes by 48% per product tonne and improved our energy efficiency by 11.7%. Our process water use has decreased by 20% per product tonne over the period 2010-2018.

Product safety

    Safe and pure paperboard packaging

Product safety is our top priority

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Product safety is a non-negotiable and essential part of any packaging or food service material and a priority for all Metsä Board operations. To ensure consistent and high-level product safety, transparent actions and detailed information from all parties throughout the supply chain is required. Metsä Board is actively following the ever-developing regulatory requirements and is responsive to any specific customer demands.

Sustainability management

Sustainability management

We develop our operations continuously 

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At Metsä Board we aim to continuously improve our operations. This work is supported by the various management systems covering quality, environmental impacts, product safety, energy efficiency and occupational health and safety. Management systems assuring the origin of wood and chain of custody procedures enable us to fully trace the origin of all of the wood raw material used within Metsä Board.

We want to increase understanding of our economic, social and environmental interactions and impacts. We believe in transparency in the dialogue with our stakeholders, and regularly report on our business and activities in Metsä Board’s Annual Report, as well as in Metsä Group’s Sustainability Report.

Our product-specific environmental data is made available through Paper Profile declarations. These paper profiles are a standardised tool used by the manufacturers of paper and board products to communicate the environmental performance of individual products.

The climatic impact of our individual products is reported in our carbon footprint calculations, which have been conducted since 2007. These calculations adhere to the Carbon Footprint Framework for Paper and Board Products developed by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).