SUSTAINABILITY REPORT BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND VALUE CREATION Record result in a challenging business environment FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENT GOVERNANCE
We achieved an excellent result in 2022, and our financial position at the end of the year was strong. We continued our sustainability efforts to mitigate climate change and helped our customers lower their use of plastic and reduce the carbon footprint of their packages. All this builds a strong foundation for future growth, which we seek through our sustainable and profitable investments.
For Metsä Board, 2022 was an exceptional year in many ways. As a paperboard company, we achieved a record result in a challenging business environment that proved difficult to predict. Our sales were nearly EUR 2.5 billion, and our comparable operating result was EUR 521 million. At 20.9%, our return on capital employed exceeded our long-term target by a wide margin. Our result improved especially thanks to the higher prices of fresh fibre paperboards supported by a favourable currency effect. Success- ful price increases exceeded the rapid cost inflation. In addition, the profitability of Metsä Fibre, our associated company, was boosted by the higher market pulp prices. The past year was overshadowed by Russia’s war against Ukraine, which is continuing in 2023. In addition to human suffer- ing, Russia’s military operations triggered the most severe energy crisis in Europe’s recent history, making energy self-sufficiency a significant competitive factor for many companies. Metsä Board’s energy self-sufficiency is at a high level, which offers stability to our operations. The new recovery boiler and turbine that started up at the Husum pulp mill in December, will increase the production of bioenergy and take us closer to our goal of entirely fossil free production by the end of 2030. Valuable recognition of our sustainability efforts During the year, we continued our long-term work to promote sustainability. For the second year in a row, we secured a place on the ’A’ List in all of CDP’s three environmental focus areas: climate change mitigation, water security and forest protection. Only 12 out of 15,000 companies achieved the same excellent result. In EcoVadis’s evaluation, we were in the top 1% among paper, paperboard and packaging manufacturers, receiving full points in the environment section. These acknowledgements reflect our role as a forerunner in sustainability and the systematic work that
everyone at Metsä Board carries out to achieve our goals. Since 2022, the personal performance goals of all Metsä Board employ- ees have included at least one sustainability objective, which in my case concerns safety at work. Our strategy has proven its success Our strategy has proved its sustainability and success in a challenging market situation, and we will continue its systematic implementation – growing sustainably in fibre-based packaging materials. In recent years, we have strengthened our market position in premium fresh fibre paperboards and have met the quickly increasing demand for recyclable packaging materials that can replace plastic in our main markets – Europe and North America. In 2023, our paperboard capacity will increase following the completion of our investments in folding boxboard in Husum and kraftliner in Kemi. To continue our sustainable growth, we have launched pre-engineering for a new folding boxboard mill with an annual capacity of 800,000 tonnes in Kaskinen. A potential investment decision could be made in 2024 at the earliest.
Resource efficiency helps us reduce the environmental impact of packaging
Our resource-efficient paperboards made of renewable raw mate- rial have a smaller carbon footprint than many other packaging materials, and they are an excellent match to circular economy needs. Packaging design carried out in cooperation with our customers helps us continuously reduce the amount of packaging material and waste. Resource and production efficiency play a key role in the pre-engineering for the new folding boxboard mill in Kaskinen. We aim for the world’s most resource-efficient paperboard mill, with
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