Stora Enso – transforming the industry with innovative packaging solutions

Society’s green transformation is bringing new opportunities in its wake. Through its investments in renewable materials, Stora Enso is working to steer the packaging industry in a sustainable direction.


The focus of the packaging industry’s transition to sustainability is on climate-neutral and circular production chains. It is becoming ever more important to reduce the climate footprint of packaging and the influx of plastic in production. This is a transformation that will require the industry to make the transition to renewable materials and investments in material design that promote recyclability.


Forest raw materials reduce dependence on fossil-based materials


Attitudes to consumption are changing, and we are living in a time where more and more people wish to reduce the volume of material in circulation. This is the view taken by forest industry group Stora Enso, as it addresses the fact that new legislation, combined with new requirements, will change the conditions within the industry.

‘New legislation will have an impact on us and how we find various solutions. I also believe there is an ambition to use lighter materials and to reuse more, which will change our customers’ requirements for our products. At the same time, the demand for fossil-based materials will switch to more sustainable alternatives,’ explains Anna Bergquist, Head of BU Central & Northern Europe at Stora Enso.

The Group has moved from being a traditional paper and cardboard manufacturer to being a growth company for renewable materials. This active participation in the transition is helping to reduce our dependence on fossil-based materials. In a unique production chain, Stora Enso can follow the raw material all the way from forest to product.

‘I believe in the forest and the future of forest raw materials. We can do a lot more with the raw material than we are doing currently. Then, of course, it is about finding the right cost parameters for rapid, efficient production. An important part of our strategy is that we actually own the raw material – we own the trees from which our products are made,’ says Anna Bergquist.


Corrugated cardboard – light but strong


Corrugated cardboard is an attractive material for creating environmentally friendly packaging that can easily be adapted to the specific requirements of the customer. What Stora Enso offers extends beyond corrugated cardboard boxes as a product; through integrated services in the form of packaging machines and automation solutions, it is possible to improve the efficiency of the customer’s production chain.

‘Corrugated cardboard is a standard material that has existed for over 100 years. Now we are developing and implementing an option to convert corrugated cardboard made in lighter grammages. This will allow us to produce a more environmentally tailored packaging box for our customers. A lighter material, but one that is still just as strong,’ Anna Bergquist explains.

Corrugated cardboard is made from raw materials from sustainable forests, and the material has a long useful life: the fibres in corrugated cardboard can be recycled up to nine times. These circular properties allow the customer to use a lighter material that meets the end consumer’s demand for climate-friendly packaging.


Efficient supply through automation


Efficient distribution plays an important role in delivering products from the company to the customer. By integrating automation solutions, packaging lines can be optimised to increase production and cost efficiency. Stora Enso wants to make advances in the area and is working on the development of new solutions that will promote the entire production chain.

‘Automation is about finding smart ways of packaging. It affects everything, from how we design the most efficient packaging and customer processes possible to how the packaged items are transported in lorries. We want to transport as little air as possible, and this is where automation comes in useful. When we build things together, we can find efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions,’ says Anna Bergquist.


Innovation for circular processes


Automation and innovation go hand in hand In order to boost the capacity of the industry, Stora Enso is investing in innovation, development and research, with the aim of developing a more efficient use of resources. The Group is researching new applications for wood and fibre-based materials, which in the long run can be implemented on an industrial scale. The goal is to achieve a circular bioeconomy, with products made from biobased raw materials.

‘Innovation can be found at all levels. It is about product and materials innovation, but it is also about the automation aspects, where there is great potential for innovation in the form of automation solutions that create quick, efficient processes,’ says Anna Bergquist.


A regenerative future

Stora Enso has a clear vision: the Group wants to drive developments in the industry in a sustainable direction. They are actively working to transform the materials system, and by 2050 the Group is seeking to be fully regenerative.

‘We are working on innovations and solutions that can create a better future, and a better world. Our goal is to be fully regenerative by 2050. Then, we will be giving more back to the planet than we take from it. By 2040, we will be climate-neutral, and by 2030 we will reduce our climate footprint by 50 per cent,’ Anna Bergquist ends by saying.

In October, Stora Enso will be taking part as an exhibitor at Scanpack, Scandinavia’s largest meeting place for the packaging industry. Anna Bergquist will be taking part in the ‘Scanpack Talks’ programme items. Scanpack will take place from 22–25 October at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre in Gothenburg.


More information about the exhibition and programme >>