As international trade continues to grow and to generate economic development for more and more people, it inevitably increases the pressure on the Earth’s natural resources. We are facing major global challenges that can only be tackled through shared measures. Climate change is quite possibly the biggest challenge facing the human race today. BillerudKorsnäs wants to help reverse development in this area, and to play an active role in the important work that has to be done to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, which is why we have undertaken to combat climate change in all areas of our value chain.
How we are contributing to easing climate impact
We are primarily contributing to combating climate change by supplying packaging solutions made of renewable material to the global market. We want such packaging solutions to be the obvious choice for everyone. BillerudKorsnäs’ paper and board are much better – from the perspective of the climate – than other materials, such as plastic, metal and glass. They can be recycled 5–6 times, before finally being incinerated to produce energy.
Our material originates from growing forests. Research indicates that active forestry with strong growth produces the greatest climate benefit, combined with initiatives to replace fossil and resource-intensive raw materials with renewable wood material. Our material makes strong and light packaging solutions, which allow efficient logistics all the way to the final consumer. This naturally helps cut climate impact in every link of the chain.
Of course, we are also working continuously to reduce our own emissions of greenhouse gases by investing in new energy-efficient technology, developing our work methods, switching to renewable energy, and by checking and optimising our transport assignments. We also encourage our suppliers to make improvements. BillerudKorsnäs has a stated climate strategy and our vision is to phase out fossil fuels completely from our own production processes. Renewable bioenergy accounts for more than 97 per cent of the fuel we use today. We are also working to reduce emissions of fossil CO2 in our production processes, and one of our stated sustainability goals is Fossil-free production. In 2015, we exceeded our goal for reduced emissions (30 kg/tonne) by a good margin (28.3 kg/tonne).
Life cycle assessment
To provide a solid basis for BillerudKorsnäs’ continued climate work, and to make it easier for our customers to assess our products, we commissioned IVL Swedish Environmental Research to perform a life cycle assessment of paper packaging solutions made using our material. The results will be published in 2016. The previous study (in 2015) compared four different paper packaging solutions – carrier bag, pasta bag, cement sack and bottle – made using our material with corresponding products made of plastic. The study examined the entire product life cycle: from material production to the disposal or recycling of the finished packaging. The findings clearly illustrate that paper packaging is a better option than plastic from an environmental perspective. Emissions of greenhouse gases were 49–72% lower for packaging made of paper. For the other comparisons of nutrients, pollutants and ground-level ozone, paper produced much lower emissions in the vast majority of cases.
Partnership and awards in the area of climate work
CDP:As the only Swedish company – and the only international forestry industry company –BillerudKorsnäs was rewarded for its comprehensive climate work with a place on CDP’s prestigious Climate A-list. This list comprises companies that show global leadership in the area of climate-improving measures, and it is compiled on behalf of 822 institutional investors who administrate EUR 86,000 billion. Read more.
Fossil-free Sweden: BillerudKorsnäs is a member of ‘Fossil-free Sweden’, an initiative set up by the Swedish government. By participating in Fossil-free Sweden, we hope to be able to learn more and to share our own experience of how to execute the transition to a fossil-free society in practice. Click here.
Science Based Targets: To ensure that our targets genuinely contribute to preventing the global temperature from rising by more than two degrees, we have also signed up for the Science Based Targets initiative, which is backed by CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the WWF. This means that our targets are examined to ensure they live up to requirements according to research in the field. In addition, we undertake to examine suppliers’ emissions – from transport operations, for example – to set targets and to work systematically to reduce levels. As our old target for transports of finished goods within EU27 has been achieved, we have introduced a new target for all transports worldwide, for both 2016 and 2020. For additional information about our sustainability targets, click here.