Metsä Board Sustainability Review 2023

Sustainability Review summarises Metsä Board’s key sustainability topics and achievements in 2023.

Metsä Board Sustainability Review 2023


Together with our customers we develop fossil free and circular packaging solutions.

This is Metsä Board 

2 3 4 6 8

CEO’s foreword 

Our sustainability highlights in 2023 How we support the circular economy Our 2030 sustainability targets  Our commitment and progress E – Environment Biodiversity and regenerative forestry 


12 16 18 24

Climate and energy Resource efficiency 

Environmental impact of products 

S – Social responsibility People and equal opportunities

26 30

Safety at work Product safety 


G – Sustainability governance Responsible operations 

32 36

Advocacy and regulation

Sustainability reporting in 2023

This Sustainability Review summarises Metsä Board’s key sustainability topics and achievements in 2023.

Metsä Board’s full Sustainability Statement is available as part of the Report of the Board of Directors. GRI and SASB Content Index and Climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) are available on Metsä Board’s website.



This is Metsä Board

Forerunner in premium lightweight paperboards

On the road to fossil free production and regenerative forestry

employees • in folding boxboards and white kraftliners in Europe • in coated white kraftliners in the world No 1 2,300 Sales in 2023 1.9 EUR bn. The Metsä Board portfolio offers solutions for demanding packaging end uses, such as food and beverages, food service, consumer electronics, beautycare, healthcare and graphic applications. As part of Metsä Group, a Finnish forest industry group, we benefit from a unique value chain from pure Northern European wood fibre to high-quality end products. We help our customers reduce their carbon footprint through resource-efficient materials and packaging solutions that are easy to recycle and promote the circular economy. Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium lightweight paperboards . Our product range covers lightweight folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Used in consumer and retail packaging, our paperboards are made from fully traceable fresh wood fibre coming from responsibly managed forests that are either certified or meet the criteria of controlled origin.

The resources on our planet are finite. As urbanisation and population growth continue to boost the need for packaging, we all need to think about how to make things smarter and in line with the circular economy. Mitigating climate change, promoting biodiversity, using resources efficiently, and developing a responsible corporate culture and supply chain are at the core of our sustainability efforts. To achieve results that make a difference, sustainability targets must be ambitious. At Metsä Board, we aim to achieve fossil free production and products by the end of 2030. Currently, 90% of the energy and 99% of the raw materials used at our mills are fossil free. To save valuable resources, we continuously invest in the most efficient production processes. We have detailed roadmaps for the climate and water measures we’re taking to achieve our 2030 sustainability targets. These roadmaps describe the completed and planned investments, and their impact on reducing our fossil-based CO 2 emissions and process water use. Resource efficiency is at the core of our product development work. Based on lifecycle assessments, our paperboards have a lower carbon footprint compared to many corresponding packaging materials. This also helps our customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

When talking about sustainability, just aiming at minimising the negative impacts on the environment is not enough. We need to take things further and aim higher. To take our efforts to the next level, the entire Metsä Group adopted regenerative forestry principles in spring 2023. The goal is to ensure forests are transferred from one generation to the next in a vibrant, diverse and climate-resilient condition, and to verify positive impacts on forest biodiversity by 2030 at the latest. In promoting social responsibility, our core areas of focus are ethical corporate culture, employee wellbeing and safety at work. We advance diversity, equality and inclusion with the Metsä for all vision, and measure our progress through the targets set. For example, we’ve adopted anonymous recruitment as our main recruitment method, in order to offer all job applicants equal opportunities. Transparency is the cornerstone of all sustainability work. That is why we’ve prepared this Sustainability Review. It covers the most relevant information on environmental, social, and governance issues and summarises our key sustainability topics and their progress in 2023. We also provide a comprehensive Sustainability Statement as part of the Report of the Board of Directors 2023 as preparation for the upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. These reports are available for anyone interested in under- standing our journey and goals towards a sustainable future. I hope they will provide you with useful and relevant information and show that we are on the common road towards a positive change.

We work to mitigate climate change

By the end of 2030 our mills will have zero fossil-based CO 2 emissions and our products will be made entirely from fossil free materials.

Annual paperboard production capacity 2.3 Mt

Our operations

8 100

Our highly efficient production units in Finland and Sweden are located close to the forests that are the source of our most impor- tant raw material: high-quality wood fibres.

Annual production capacity of high-yield (BCTMP) and chemical pulp 1.7 Mt

We deliver to approximately 100 countries on all continents.

Mika Joukio CEO




Our sustainability highlights 2023

Innovating for circularity

Altogether 46 co-creation workshops were held in 2023 at Metsä Board’s state-of-the-art Excellence Centre, to help inno- vate new packaging solutions with customers and partners. As an example, our 360 Services team combined forces with the Nordic cosmetics brand Lumene and the folding carton converter VG Kadra Pak, member of the Van Genechten Packaging Group, to create a lightweight and easily recyclable advent calendar. Share of certified wood fibre at Metsä Board 91% Share of fossil free energy at Metsä Board 90%

From new packaging design innovations open to all, to fine-tuning sustainable solutions together with our customers. From calculating the environmental impact reduction possibilities of packaging, to improving the energy efficiency of our own mills. 2023 was full of great steps toward a more circular future.

Here are a few examples of our sustainability highlights:

The capacity expansion project at our Husum mill was completed in November, making the folding boxboard machine BM1 the largest and most modern in Europe. It also has excellent sustainability credentials, currently run with approximately 98% of renewable energy and aiming at 100%. Husum board mill got an upgrade, improving efficiency

lower carbon footprint Up to 50%

We achieved excellent scores in several ESG ratings, including CDP A List in Climate change and Water security and A- in Forests; the highest Platinum level and high scores in each of the four themes assessed by Ecovadis; and an A- rating in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circulytics® cir- cular economy assessment. These and other ratings provide important information to our stakeholders of Metsä Board’s sustainability ambition and help us to further improve our operations (page 10). Recognitions for systematic work for sustainability

Reducing carbon footprint in pharmaceutical packaging

We conducted several lifecycle calculations of the climate impact of different paperboard grades. For example, based on the assessments, switching from conventionally used grades to fresh fibre paperboard can cut the carbon footprint of a phar-

maceutical packaging by up to 60%. With our products and services we support our customers in their sustainability actions (pages 24–25).

An ultralight innovation for pizza deliveries

The development programme at our Kemi board mill was completed in the autumn 2023 in parallel with the startup of Metsä Fibre’s new bioproduct mill. In addition to increasing the board mill’s capacity, the upgrade will reduce the mill’s energy consumption by 5% and water use by around 40% per tonne produced. Kemi mill reduces its energy and water use

We collaborated with the best professionals in the industry to design a pizza box that is, possibly, the lightest in the world. Compared to traditional solutions, this corrugated e-flute box, designed to require less material and less ink, is up to 38% lighter and has a carbon footprint up to 50% lower than pizza boxes made with conventional paperboards. The concept was awarded in 2024 WorldStar packaging competition.

Up to 60% lower carbon footprint





Fresh fibre paperboards support the circular economy

Metsä Board follows the principles of circular economy by using renewable resources, ensuring efficient and fossil free operations and keeping materials in use and in circulation for as long as possible.

Alternatives to plastics Renewable fresh fibre is our main raw material, and we have a systematic development programme for replacing the remaining fossil-oil- based raw materials still used. Our paperboards, such as the dispersion coated barrier paperboard, help our customers reduce the use of plastics in packaging. Diverse and vibrant forests We are committed to regenerative forestry that enhances biodiversity and strengthens the state of nature. We use only traceable wood of certified or controlled origin. We also ensure that forests grow more than is harvested so that the forests can continue to act as a carbon sink. Forestry operations do not cause deforestation in our wood supply area. Minimising environmental impact We continue to focus on the efficient use of raw materials, water and energy. We follow the environmental impact of all our paperboards with life cycle assessments based on the requirements set out in the ISO 14025 and ISO 14040/14044 standards. The light weight of our paperboards and the high share of fossil free energy used reduce the environmental impact of our paperboards.

With a recycling rate of over 80%, paper and paperboard packaging is the most recycled packaging material in the EU and the US (Source: Eurostat, EPA)

Fresh fibres help maintain the recycling loop

Pure and strong fresh wood fibres improve the quality of fibres in circulation and they can be recycled multiple times. This makes fresh fibre paperboards an excellent material for the circular economy. In addition, they compensate for the materials not returned to circulation. Designed to be recycled All our paperboards are recyclable, depending on the local recycling systems. All Metsä Board paperboards except for the PE coated grades are also certified as industrially compostable in accordance with the DIN EN 13432 and/or ASTM D6400 standards and home compostable in accordance with the NF T 51–800 standard. By joint design guidelines and cross-industry collab- oration, such as 4evergreen alliance, we support the recyclability or compostability of our products after use. Sustainable solutions by cooperation Metsä Board 360 Services help our customers to improve the functionality and recyclability of their packaging, decrease the use of plastics, and reduce raw material use and the environmental impact of the packaging solution. The Excellence Centre in our Äänekoski site provides an inspira- tional co-creation platform for our customers and partners worldwide.

Keep recycling loops going

Renewable wood-based raw material

Circular paperboard solutions

Resource- efficient production

Materials are used in the best possible way

As part of Metsä Group, we use 100% of the sourced wood raw material, and nothing goes to waste. We are also seeking new ways to reuse our production side streams. For example, Soilfood, a Finnish circular economy company, produces wood-based soil improvement fibres from frac- tions produced as side streams at Metsä Board’s board mills.




Sustainability targets for 2030

Our targets highlight our commitment to safeguarding natural biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, healthy workplace communities and ethical operations.


S G Social



We safeguard biodiversity.

We mitigate climate change. We decrease emissions.

We use raw materials efficiently.

We do the right thing. We promote safety and wellbeing at work.

We promote ethical corporate culture. We know the origin of our raw materials. We favour responsible suppliers in our procurement.

We decrease the amount of waste.




Our commitment to sustainability relies on our strategy

Progress towards our 2030 sustainability targets

Sustainable operations are the foundation of Metsä Board’s business. Our sustainability targets are based on our strategy, the materiality assessment of sustainability matters and the entire Metsä Group’s sustainability targets.

Our seven sustainability themes and related targets and indicators were updated in 2023. The actuals and progress are summarised in the table below.



We are implementing our strategy to grow in fibre-based packa- ging materials and renew industrial operations with investments to meet the globally increasing demand for recyclable packaging materials that can reduce the use of plastic. To support this, we have defined five strategic programmes, which are interlinked with our sustainability targets. Our sustainability targets, which extend to 2030, contribute, for our part, to the realisation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Since 2003, we have supported the UN Global Compact and its principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. We have also signed the UN

Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate initiative, in which we are committed to continuously improving water responsibility and understanding and managing water-related risks. As part of Metsä Group, we belong to the global circular economy network of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which supports our goal of being a forerunner in a fossil free circular economy. Our sustainability performance is continuously assessed in several ESG ratings, and we actively participate in those ratings that we see as the most important in terms of providing fact- based information and further improving the sustainability of our operations.

E – ENVIRONMENT 1. Safeguarding biodiversity and the ecological sustainability of forest use MG: Retention trees on regeneration felling sites, %



13, 15

MG: High biodiversity stumps on harvesting sites, %



13, 15

MG: Spruce as the only tree species after young stand management, %



13, 15

MG: Measures promoting biodiversity, number



13, 15

2. Mitigating climate change and reducing emissions Improvement in energy efficiency from the 2018 level, %



7, 12, 13

Fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2 market-based), t



12, 13

Share of target group suppliers with targets set in accordance with the SBTi by 2024 (Scope 3), %




Fossil free raw materials and packaging materials, share of dry tonnes, %



9, 12

MG: Amount of forest regeneration and young stand management from the 2018 level, %



13, 15

Our strategic programmes • Premium supplier • Effective innovation • Safe and efficient operations and organic growth • Leader in sustainability • Motivated people

Our vision Preferred supplier of innovative and sustainable fibre-based packaging solutions, creating value for custo- mers globally.

Our purpose Advancing bioeconomy and circular economy by efficiently and sustai- nably processing northern wood into first-class products.

MG: Amount of forest fertilisation from the 2018 level, %



13, 15

MG: Share of continuous cover forestry in peatland forest regeneration, %



13, 15

MG: Amount of carbon stored in wood products from the 2018 level, %



12, 13

3. Resource efficiency and sustainable production Reduction in process water use per produced tonne from the 2018 level, %



6, 12

Process waste delivered to landfills, t




S – SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 4. Respecting everyone and doing the right thing Anonymous recruitment for vacancies open to all, %

Metsä Board actively participates in the following ESG ratings



5, 8

ESG rating provider and rating


Previous score 1)

Scale 2)


Women in management positions, %



5, 8

CDP, Climate Change CDP, Water Security





5. Promoting safety and wellbeing at work Total recordable incident frequency, own employees (TRIF) 1 )




CDP, Forests

A- A-

Employee job satisfaction



5, 8

Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circulytics®

07/2023 12/2022 12/2023

G – SUSTAINABILITY GOVERNANCE 6. Innovation and open-minded cooperation and 7. The significance of forest-based bioeconomy to society Implementation of ethics barometer measures, % 100

ISS, ESG Corporate Rating ISS, QualityScore, Environment

B- Prime

B- Prime

D- − A+, Not Prime − Prime

2 3 3

2 6 3

10−1 10−1 10−1

ISS, QualityScore, Social


5, 8

ISS, QualityScore, Governance EcoVadis, Sustainability Rating 3)

Traceability of raw materials, share of total purchases, %



9, 12

87 Platinum

87 Platinum

0−100, Platinum the highest medal

05/2023 12/2023 06/2023 12/2023 11/2023

Share of certified wood fibre, %




Moody’s Analytics, ESG Overall Score 4)

70 AA



Suppliers’ commitment to the Supplier Code of Conduct, share of total purchases, %



8, 12

MSCI, ESG Rating 5)



Supplier assessments and audits of core suppliers, %



8, 12

S&P Global, CSA Score 6)



0−100 100−0

MG: Joint sustainability targets with partner suppliers, %



12, 13

Sustainalytics, ESG Risk Rating 7)



1) Score reported in Metsä Board’s Annual and Sustainability Report 2022. S&P Global’s CSA Score was not included in the report in 2022. 2) Scale from the weakest score to the highest possible score. 3) Metsä Board is among the top 1% of companies assessed in the manufacture of corrugated paper and paperboard and containers of paper and paperboard industries. 4) In Metsä Board’s sector, Forest Products & Paper Europe, the sector average is 58. 5) Metsä Board was moved by MSCI from Paper & Forest Products industry to Containers & Packaging industry in 2023. 6) As of 15 March 2024, Metsä Board achieved the eighth highest CSA score out of 62 companies assessed in the Materials – FRP Paper & Forest Products industry in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. 7) Metsä Board is considered to be at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors.

Progress in 2023 compared with the previous year. Exceeds target (significant progress) On target (progress as planned) Short of target (no progress or weaker progress)

MG: The target has been set at the level of Metsä Group

Targets will be reached by the end of 2030. For example, fossil fuels will be abandoned by 31 December 2030.

1) Metsä Board’s target of “0 accidents at work” also applies to service suppliers. In future, service suppliers will be included in the performance figure.





Measures for the 2030 targets

We add decaying wood to forests

We diversify tree species in forests

We protect valuable habitats for threatened species

Targets and indicators

Actual 2023


of regeneration felling sites have retention trees (MG) of harvesting sites have high biodiversity stumps (MG) of young stand management sites have spruce as the only tree species (MG)


We safeguard forest biodiversity.





10,000 measures promoting biodiversity (MG)


(MG) The target is set at Metsä Group level.

With biodiversity actions, we strengthen the living conditions needed by species and preserve valuable habitats.




Regenerative forestry goes beyond conventional sustainability measures


Metsä Board’s products are manufactured from pure, fresh wood fibre sourced from sustainably managed Northern European forests. The aim is to manage these forest areas even better.

According to Timo Lehesvirta , Metsä Group’s Leading Nature Expert, adopting regenerative forestry principles involves a systemic change, which will enable the economy and biodiversity to grow and strengthen simultaneously. “Historically, economic systems have created wellbeing at nature’s expense. In many forms of land use, production is still based on first erasing the original forest ecosystem. Finnish forestry, and especially regenerative forestry, is about production processes that verifiably do not harm the environment,” Lehesvirta says. To be able to verify the positive change is vital. Metsä Group jointly monitors the development of the state of forest nature with research institutions in the field. Our goal is to verifiably measure and follow-up the strengthening of forest biodiversity by 2030. “Various ideologies and approaches are prominent in public forest discussion, so we want to ensure that the impact of our actions can be measured using scientific methods. Working with our external stakeholders, we aim to develop verified measurements that demonstrate environmental impact across a product’s value chain, from forests to consumers”, Lehesvirta adds. Regenerative forestry enables economy and biodiversity to strengthen simultaneously

In our Environmental policy, we commit to obtaining wood raw material from sustainable forest sources and to paying attention to the economic, social and environmental aspects of forest management and wood supply. To develop this even further, Metsä Group, which is responsible for our wood supply, adopted ambitious regenerative forestry principles in the spring of 2023. The goal of the regenerative forestry principles is to strengthen biodiversity while using forests, and to ensure that forests transfer in an even more vibrant and diverse condition from one generation and owner to the next. Greater diversity also makes forests more resilient to climate change. In addition, regenerative forestry supports carbon sinks for mitigating climate change while simultaneously supporting the overall forest ecosystem, including aspects such as timber, berry and mushroom growth, pollinators and forests’ health benefits on people. The key practices of regenerative forestry include diversifying the tree species and the structure of forests, as well as increasing

the amount of decaying wood in the forests. With these practices we can improve the habitats of around 10,000 species living in commercial forests. In Metsä Group’s regenerative forestry principles, forest management and use is based on the most common native tree species in the area. There are approximately 30 native tree species in Finland, of which we process only four industrially. During forest operations, other tree species are left to grow and boost biodiversity in the forest. Protective thickets, i.e. dense stands of trees and bushes, are left to diversify the structure of forests and provide hiding places for animals. To increase the amount of decaying wood, retention trees and two-to-five-metre high biodiversity stumps are left standing on the harvested sites. All these measures are important for preserving forest biodiversity.

Verifying positive change is a key element of regenerative forestry principles.

The many levels of sustainable forest management in Northern forestry

Legislation (EU and national level)

National and EU level legislation set the

Metsä Group Plus service takes forest management to a new level

Best practices for sustainable forest management (Finland)

foundation for measures to advance biodiversity and sustainable use of forests.

than is required by today’s forest certification standards. The measures are agreed jointly with forest owners in connection with forest management services and wood trade. The potential of the Metsä Group Plus programme is consider- able, as the members of Metsäliitto Cooperative own about half of Finland’s private forests. Read more about our wood procurement and traceability on page 34 and topical forest-related regulations on pages 36–37.

In June 2023, Metsä Group launched the Metsä Group Plus ser- vice as part of its regenerative forestry principles. Metsä Group Plus is a forest management model that follows the principles of regenerative forestry and is offered to the owner-members of Metsäliitto Cooperative, Metsä Group’s parent company. The model’s measures for supporting and improving forest biodiversity are more comprehensive than those of current standard practices based on legislation and forest certification. For example, the number of retention trees and high biodiversity stumps left in the forest is higher in the Metsä Group Plus service

Forest certification (PEFC, FSC®)

This is complemented with further measures

Metsä Group’s own actions: • Ecological sustainability programme • Funding programme for nature projects • Regenerative forestry strategy • Metsä Group Plus service

based on best practices, forest certifications, and company-specific voluntary biodiversity actions.

Read more about these topics in the Sustainability Statement 2023.





Measures for the 2030 targets

We only use fossil free fuels and purchase fossil free electricity We only use fossil free raw materials and packaging materials We promote forest management We recommend continuous cover forestry in peatlands We increase the production of wood products that store carbon for a long time

We mitigate climate change.

Targets and indicators

Actual 2023

0 t

fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions, Scope 1 and 2

184,713 t


of target group suppliers have set SBTi targets by 2024, Scope 3


100% fossil free raw materials and packaging materials +30% forest regeneration and young stand management* (MG) +50% forest fertilisation* (MG) +30% share of continuous cover forestry in peatland forests (MG) +30% amount of carbon stored in wood products** (MG)



-26% 17%

We reduce fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions and the use of fossil-based raw materials and packaging materials. We ensure that carbon is stored in forests and wood products.


(MG) The target is set at Metsä Group level. * hectares, compared to 2018 ** CO 2 equivalent compared to 2018





Measures for the 2030 targets

We use less water at our mills

We improve energy efficiency

We utilise all our process waste

Targets and indicators

Actual 2023


process water use per produced tonne* improvement in energy efficiency* process waste delivered to landfills




We use raw materials efficiently.

0 t

1,164 t

* compared to 2018

We use natural resources as efficiently as possible and reduce waste.




We continuously work towards fossil free and resource-efficient production


To mitigate climate change, we are aiming for fossil free production and products. We also focus on resource efficiency in terms of the use of energy, water and materials.


54% reduction of fossil-based CO 2 emission per product tonne in 2018−2023. (Scope 1 and 2 market-based)

Renewable energy, wood-based �������������������������������� 73% Other renewable energy ��������������������������������������������� 0.5% Nuclear power ���������������������������������������������������������������� 16% Fossil fuels ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 10%

Metsä Board’s environmental operations are guided by the prin- ciples of our environmental policy and a certified ISO 9001 quality management system, ISO 14001 environmental management system, ISO 50001 energy management system, and an energy efficiency system (EES), which all our production units have. Working towards fossil free production Metsä Board’s strategy to work towards fossil free production includes action plans for the climate impacts from production, the supply chain and products. An action plan for the carbon balance of forests has also been drawn up for Metsä Group’s wood supply.

In the production units, our plan for climate change mitigation comprises investments and measures for replacing fossil fuels with renewable fuels and fossil free electricity at all the company’s production units and power plants. The measures apply to the fuels and backup fuels used at power plants and to the process fuels used at production units. We will also shift to fully renewable or fossil free alternatives for purchased energy. Our key measures are presented in the roadmap on page 22. We are improving energy efficiency through continuous enhancements in areas such as drying and heat recovery, and through investments. In addition to the development project at Kemi board mill we completed, in 2023, energy efficiency actions

on a smaller scope, including the optimisation of energy use in drying at the Joutseno BCTMP mill and the Äänekoski board mill. Greenhouse gas emissions in our value chain are curbed by Metsä Group wood supply’s target of reducing fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions from wood supply in Finland by 30 per cent from the 2022 level by 2030. Greenhouse gas emissions are also reduced through emissions reduction targets jointly set by Metsä Group and its partner suppliers. For example, the joint 2030 target of Metsä Group and VR, a logistics group, will halve emissions from transportation covered by the cooperation. VR handles Metsä Board’s rail transports in Finland. We also encour- age all our suppliers to set GHG emission reduction targets, in line with the Science Based Targets initiative for example. Carbon footprints of our products are discussed on pages 24–25. Reducing water use Our actions to reduce process water use include investments in processes and wastewater treatment, as well as adjustments to and optimisation of water use. The actions improve water recycling and reduce water withdrawal from waterbodies. Our key

measures are presented in the roadmap on page 23. Reducing water use is also a way of mitigating climate change, as process water use and wastewater treatment consume energy, causing greenhouse gas emissions. All Metsä Board’s production units are located in areas that have large surface water reserves. None of the production units are located in areas of high water stress or high overall water risk (WRI Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas). Surface water accounts for nearly 100% of Metsä Board’s water withdrawals. A small amount of groundwater is used mainly for hygiene and laboratory purposes. Production processes account for roughly half Metsä Board’s water use, and the cooling process accounts for the rest. Process water is carefully treated before it is returned into waterbodies. The cooling water circulates in a separate system and does not need to be treated. However, the cooling water returned to waterbodies has a local heating impact. Our water consumption is very small in proportion to our total water use, as we return around 96% of the water to waterbodies after use. The remaining 4% either evaporates during the process or is bound to products. Minimising waste We make use of most of the production side streams. Wood-ba- sed waste and by-products, including sludge, ash and lime, are used for soil improvement and landscaping, fertilisers, chemicals industry applications, and in energy generation. Only 1% of process waste is delivered to the landfill, and the target is zero. In addition to by-products and process waste, our operations generate smaller volumes of other non-hazardous waste, such as municipal waste and construction waste, and some hazardous waste.





< 1%

Scope 3 – upstream

Scope 2

Scope 1

Scope 3 – downstream

tCO 2 e Purchased goods and services 479,875 Capital goods 57,651 Fuel and energy-related activities 57,772 Upstream transportation and distribution 282,264 Waste generated in operations 2,919 Business travel 813 Employee commuting 1,889 883,184

tCO 2 e

tCO 2 e

tCO 2 e

Kemi board mill’s upgrade completed in 2023 will reduce the mill’s energy consumption by 5% and water use by around 40% per tonne produced.

Market-based indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity and heat

Direct GHG emissions from own processes and power plants

Downstream transportation and distribution Processing of sold products


5,108 5,108

201,984 201,984


Use of sold products


End-of-life treatment of sold products



52,294 908,822

Read more about these topics in the Sustainability Statement 2023.





WATER USE 2018–2023













Direct fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions (Scope 1), tCO 2 1)







Water withdrawals, 1,000 m³







Indirect fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions (Scope 2 market-based), tCO 2 1)







Surface water, 1,000 m³







Direct GHG emissions (Scope 1), tCO 2 e







Groundwater, 1,000 m³







Indirect GHG emissions (Scope 2 market-based ) tCO 2 e Indirect GHG emissions (Scope 2 location-based ) tCO 2 e Indirect GHG emissions in the value chain (Scope 3), tCO 2 e







Of water withdrawal used as cooling water, 1,000 m³













Of water withdrawal used as process water, 1,000 m³







1,792,006 2,274,825 1,854,840 1,847,773 1,026,896 1,058,455

Wastewater discharges generated from process water, 1,000 m³







Biogenic carbon dioxide emissions, tCO 2

1,984,088 1,937,318



1,815,179 1,812,793

Water consumption, 1,000 m³







1) The emissions that are covered by Metsä Board’s 2030 target. The Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions were reported for the first time in 2023. The GHG emissions have been retroactively calculated for 2022 and 2018. The Scope 3 calculation methodology was updated for 2022−2023. Some of the figures have been retroactively adjusted from previous reporting due to additional information. The reporting principles for metrics are presented in the Sustainability Statement.

Some of the figures have been retroactively adjusted from previous reporting due to additional information. The reporting principles for metrics are presented in the Sustainability Statement. Water consumption was not reported in 2018−2021.

Key measures, according to plan, for reducing fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions to zero. Some of the projects still lack a final investment decision and the times shown are indicative. The purchasing of power and heat will shift to fossil free energy sources. See also our interactive roadmaps on our website. Roadmap to fossil free mills by the end of 2030

Key measures, according to plan, for reducing process water use. Up to 50% of total process water use reductions per product tonne will be due to the planned renewal of Husum pulp mill. Some of the projects still lack a final investment decision and the times shown are indicative. See also our interactive roadmaps on our website. Roadmap for reduced process water use by the end of 2030

TAKO In steam production, natural gas is replaced by, e.g. electricity

HUSUM Optimising the separation of process water and uncontaminated cooling water. Renewal of Husum pulp mill, phase 2: New fibre line

Base year: 0%

Target: 100%

JOUTSENO Natural gas is replaced by biogas or electricity

TAKO Enhancing water recycling

SIMPELE Peat is replaced by renewable energy*

HUSUM, KASKINEN, KYRO, SIMPELE The power plant’s backup fuels will be replaced with renewable fuels

ÄÄNEKOSKI Enhancing water recycling and water use efficiency, combining wastewater treatment with Metsä Fibre

KASKINEN Optimising water use in debarking, in raw water chemical purification, and in wastewater treatment

KASKINEN Process fuels in chemicals recovery will be replaced with renewable fuels

KYRO Peat is replaced by renewable energy

KYRO The power plant’s new turbine and generator

SIMPELE Enhancing water recycling, optimising water use in debarking and in wastewater treatment

HUSUM, KEMI, KYRO, TAKO, SIMPELE Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or natural gas in the coating drying will be replaced e.g. with biogas or electricity

KYRO Optimising reject handling of raw water chemical purification, enhancing water recycling and optimising the separation of process water and uncontaminated cooling water

Starting point: 82%

JOUTSENO Minor upgrades to water use efficiency

RENEWAL OF THE HUSUM PULP MILL Phase 1: New recovery boiler and turbine

RENEWAL OF THE HUSUM PULP MILL Phase 2: New fibre line

Target: -35%

KEMI Enhancing water recycling and optimising the separation of process water and uncontaminated cooling water







A darker shade indicates measures already taken.

Share of fossil free energy out of total energy. When the share is 100%, Metsä Board’s fossil- based CO 2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) are zero. *Simpele power plant discontinued the use of peat in 2023, but some peat is used in 2024 due to a lower availability of wood chips.

Reduction of process water use per product tonne

Estimated time frame for the project

A darker shade indicates measures already taken

Estimated time frame for the project




Packaging solutions with environmental benefits


As a pioneer in premium lightweight paperboards, we have the ambition to continue developing better solutions. Our paperboards are produced resource efficiently and help our customers reduce use of plastic and lower the carbon footprint of packaging.

A lighter weight, together with a high share of fossil free energy used in production, has a key role in reducing the carbon footprint of packaging.

Metsä Board’s product range covers lightweight folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Our folding boxboards are mainly used to package consumer products, such as food and pharmaceuticals, while our white kraftliners provide options for a variety of packaging needs in the retail sector, inclu- ding point-of-sale applications, and retail-ready and shelf-ready packaging. In addition, we produce chemical pulp and high-yield pulp (BCTMP), which are used in our own paperboard production, with some sold as market pulp.

We have conducted multiple studies to demonstrate the carbon footprint reduction potential of our paperboard materials. For example, in pharma packaging, switching from solid bleached board to Metsä Board folding boxboard can reduce the carbon footprint of packaging by over 40%, and a switch from white lined chipboard to Metsä Board folding boxboard can provide a 60% reduction or even more. The LCA report with comparative asser- tions has been verified by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. The full documents are available on our website. Helping our customers to reduce the use of plastic The development of bio-based barrier coating for end-uses in food packaging is another focal area in our product development. In the biobarrier programme, we are studying new, alternative solutions for reducing the use of plastic in packaging, and we are exploring the most promising products for piloting and commercialisation. Our dispersion coated barrier paperboard, MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB provides a medium barrier against grease and moisture and offers an alternative to PE coated paperboard and plastic packaging for end uses in food packaging, for example.

A smaller carbon footprint through lightweighting and fossil free energy

Lightweighting is one of our focal areas in product development. A lighter weight, together with a high share of fossil free energy used in production, has a key role in reducing the carbon footprint of packaging, as shown by carbon footprint calculations as part of our life-cycle assessments (LCA). We calculate the carbon footprint of all our paperboards by following specific product category rules for processed paper and paperboard, which are based on the requirements set out in the ISO 14025 and ISO 14040/14044 international standards.

To support plastic reduction and recycling, we also offer PE coated paperboard grades with reduced PE coating. We aim to replace all our fossil-based raw materials and pack- aging materials with fossil free alternatives by the end of 2030. In 2023, the share of fossil free raw materials and packaging materials (in dry tonnes) was already almost 99%. A raw material is considered fossil free if none of its main raw materials contains fossil-based oil. Replacing fossil-based binders used in our paperboard coatings with bio-based alternatives was a key focus of pilot and mill trials in 2023. Ensuring recyclability is of key importance All our paperboards are recyclable, depending on the local recycling systems. If packaging material is stained by food, then composting with biowaste is an option. All our paperboards, except for the PE coated grades, are certified as industrially compostable in accordance with the DIN EN 13432 and/or ASTM

D6400 standards and home compostable in accordance with the NF T 51–800 standard.

360 Services complement our product portfolio Through Metsä Board 360 Services, we offer our customers expertise and support beyond paperboard in topics such as packaging design and sustainability. We provide life-cycle assess- ments, data-based comparisons of the environmental impacts of different materials, and fit-for-purpose packaging solutions to help customers reduce the carbon footprint and use of plastic and improve the recyclability and material efficiency of the packages. The Excellence Centre in our Äänekoski site offers an active and state-of-the-art collaboration platform for the research, innova- tion and testing of packaging materials and solutions.

MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB has gained a solid and growing market presence. The grade enables reduction of plastic in packaging and facilitates recycling.

Read more about these topics in the Sustainability Statement 2023.




Measures for the 2030 targets

We promote a culture of doing the right thing and employee engagement

We recruit anonymously

We support the opportunities of women to advance to leader positions


We promote safety at work

Targets and indicators

Actual 2023


job satisfaction at very good level


100% anonymous recruitment for vacancies open to all >30% women in management positions 0 accidents at work (TRIF)


We do the right thing.



We do the right thing and respect others. We promote safety and wellbeing at work.




Advancing employee engagement

We are committed to developing a diverse, equal and inclusive culture – Metsä for all.


Metsä Board is committed to respecting human rights and developing a responsible corporate culture in which everyone has the opportunity to be accepted and succeed.

Metsä Board’s social responsibility is guided by Metsä Group’s Code of Conduct, Human Resources and Equality policies, and Metsä for all vision. We require our suppliers to comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct. Advancing diversity, equality and inclusion Metsä Board wants to ensure that personal characteristics – such as gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic background and nationality – have no impact on an individual’s opportunity to succeed at work. The Metsä for all vision sums up our commitment to developing a responsible corporate culture in which diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) are realised. We have changed our job titles to gender-neutral and adopted anonymous recruiting as our main recruitment method. A sepa- rate module on DEI is included in all supervisor and leadership training. With the aid of our equality targets, we strive to increase the proportion of women in top management, rectify unjustified differences in pay and promote equality. To increase awareness of the Metsä for all vision and strengthen its implementation, a workshop-based programme has been launched for local management. In the workshops,

development measures are defined based on the results of the DEI surveys carried out among local employees. Key areas of development identified in the DEI surveys carried out by the end of 2023 include distribution of the workload, equal treatment of employees and work-life balance. The workshops will continue in the first half of 2024.

Ensuring a skilled workforce with anonymous recruitment

Encouraging employees’ competence, development and motivation

Breaking the forest sector’s traditional male dominance has been identified as a key theme in Metsä Board’s social responsibility. In addition to the company’s strategic target (>30% of women in management positions), efforts are made to increase the proportion of women at all organisational levels. The proportion of female applicants among those applying for jobs in mills is still relatively low, which is why it was pleasing to see that 14 out of 31 summer workers at Metsä Board Tako board mill in 2023 were women. “In the forest industry, professions are not gender specific. Our goal is to encourage more women to apply for jobs at the mill, and that’s why it’s great to share these good examples,” says Jaakko Ikonen , VP of the Tako board mill. Almost half of summer workers at Tako board mill were women

As part of Metsä Group’s equality programme and the implemen- tation of the Metsä for all vision, we have adopted anonymous recruitment as our main recruitment method in order to offer all job applicants equal opportunity. Anonymous recruitment reduces the influence of unconscious bias on the recruitment decision and supports workforce diversity. In anonymous recruitment, information about the personal characteristics of applicants is hidden during the application screening phase. The anonymised review of applications sup- ports the recruiting manager and HR to base selection on criteria relevant to the position. It also directs the applicant to bring out the skills they have that are essential for the task.

Metsä Board’s success in implementing the strategy depends on our personnel’s competence and motivation. Under the Motivated people strategic programme, we develop competencies, ensure resourcing and strengthen good leadership. We offer flexible working hours and remote working whenever a job function allows it. We enable a long career by offering various solutions such as job rotation. At the end of 2023, we introduced a year-long trial period of the individual working time model for shift work, which supports employees’ work ability at Metsä Board’s production units in Finland by improving opportunities to influence their working hours. Metsä Group’s mentoring programme offers our personnel an opportunity to develop their competencies through discussion with a colleague. The mentor pairs discuss pre-agreed topics in a goal-oriented way. Mentoring supports professional growth and responds, among other things, to development needs identified in PDA discussions. The mentoring discussions are confidential and help the mentor and mentee develop and learn. The Future Leaders Programme supports participants to achieve their personal leadership development targets through mentoring. The programme is based on mentoring and facilitated group discussions about leadership and DEI topics. The program- me’s target is to support DEI in Metsä Group’s leadership culture. Metsä Group Academies provide long-term and continuous development of our critical skills. Academies are built according to a common framework and cover our core processes. Currently, there are five academies: Finance, Leadership, Procurement, Sales and Sustainability.

D Diversity

E Equal opportunities and gender equality

I Inclusion and cultural change

• Recruitment practices that promote diversity, e.g. anonymous recruitment • Ensuring international talent in the organisation

• Increasing the number of women at different organisational levels • Ensuring pay equality • Introducing gender-neutral job titles

• Increasing the competence and awareness of personnel • Supporting cultural change via communication • Promoting work-life balance

Read more about these topics in the Sustainability Statement 2023.




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