Premium Beauty News - The transformation of Metsä Board is continuing at a steady pace, with recently, the announcement of significant investments.
Christophe Baudry - The group is indeed continuing the paper exit strategy it started in 2006. Once this process is completed, the group will have repositioned itself in the production of paperboard and liners, with the objective of strengthening its position among world leaders in the manufacture of cartonboard made from fresh fibres. This transformation process of course, requires significant investments from the Group and the development of new innovative manufacturing processes.
With this in mind, we are continuing the transformation of our mill located in Husum, Sweden, by investing 170 million euros and with the installation of a new 400 000 t/a capacity paperboard production machine for folding boxes that will be commissioned in January 2016, mainly for the marketing on US markets of food service end-uses such as cups, plates and trays globally. This new investment will also allow the company to better optimise the production at its mills in Finland and improve overall availability of high-quality paperboards.
For the Husum mill also, the paper machine PM8 was modified, to produce white fresh forest fibre linerboard (BM2), with a capacity of 300 000 t/a to serve mainly the Americas and Europe.
Premium Beauty News - The other major focus of your investments concerns sustainability.
Christophe Baudry - Sustainability is in the DNA of the group. Our name (Metsä), which means ’forest’ in Finnish and our logo, an elk topped with a forest, symbolize both the group’s environmental commitment and its strong forestry roots.
We have invested for the past 3 decades in technologies for the lightweighting of paperboard that allow to use less material and reduce transportation costs, for unchanged resistance, visual and printing quality. But we are about to reach a decisive step at that stage. After several years of research, we have actually begun to test the foam forming technology in our Kyro mill in Finland. This technology helps further reduce the weight of paperboard, but also improve its homogeneity. We are pioneers in the industrialization of this technology and our aim in the end is to be able to offer our customers even lighter, more efficient and environmentally friendly paperboards.
The Metsä Group is also pursuing the construction of a new pulp mill that will only use the energy from bioproducts. This unit located in Äänekoski, Finland, will be completed in the third quarter of 2017, representing a total investment of 1.2 billion euros and a 1.3 million ton per year production capacity. It will help increase the pulp production capacity of 800,000 t/a over to the current production capacity of pulp on site.
Our ecological commitment therefore expresses itself at all levels. It is perfectly in line with the market and with strong demand for a carbon footprint reduction coming from major brand owners. The work of Metsä Group in this regard is extremely appreciated. Last year, the CDP, an international, not-for-profit organisation providing a global system to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information, awarded us the score of 98 out of 100.
Premium Beauty News - On the side of products, what novelties will Metsä unveil this year at Luxe Pack?
Christophe Baudry - We continue to capitalize on our strong points: sustainability, innovation and consistency of grades delivered.
We will introduce for the first time our range dedicated to litholamination, specially designed to obtain exceptional UV varnishing results or for finishes with outstanding gloss, be it for small-size packaging, POS advertising or displays. For this range, special emphasis was also placed on lightness.
We will also showcase our ranges of premium lightweight cardboards: Carta Allura, Carta Elega, Carta Integra, Carta Solida and Avanta Prima, all produced using fresh fibres that guarantee their purity, brightness and strength and originating exclusively from sustainably managed forests. As well as our new liners launched last year with also remarkable lightness and strength characteristics.
Finally, we will also illustrate our Metsä Board Packaging Services offer, which is organized around our different products and our expertise in design, to introduce innovative packs. For example, we have developed a Skin Care Box, which is both lighter and safer than traditional folding boxes, particularly thanks to its unique locking system that prevents it from opening on store shelves. Another innovation is a rigid box assembled without glue and fitted with a plastic window that can be easily removed to make waste sorting easier.
In summary, we demonstrate that we are much more than just a paperboard producer! We are also specialists in sustainability and innovative design. The so-called "secondary" packaging is actually the most important: it is the one that the customer sees first on store shelves, the one that generates the first contact between the product and the end-user. From this point of view paperboard is a first choice material: being the most adaptable, the easiest to use, and also the one that is the best recycled and, ultimately, the one that biodegrades the best.
There’s more to Metsä than meets the eye!