Wood from northern forests is one of the world’s most versatile raw materials

Different parts of the tree are used for different products. The log provides material for sawn timber, plywood and Kerto products, while log side streams, including branches and bark, are converted into other bioproducts such as pulp, paperboard, tissue papers and renewable energy.

The extractives from wood give us turpentine and tall oil, which are used to make valuable raw materials for the chemical industry and the food and feed industry. Metsä Group uses every part of the tree for the most suitable purpose.

Many wood-based products such as paperboard are recyclable. For example, the recycling rate of paper and paperboard packages exceeds 80% in Europe. Wood fibre can be recycled multiple times, and recycled fibre is a valuable raw material. However, fibre cannot be recycled forever, and it does not offer environmental benefits in every application, so the production and use of fresh fibre also play a key role. For example, one toilet paper roll made from fresh fibre requires 40% less raw material than a roll made from recycled fibre. The use of fresh fibre can also save energy and water, because fresh fibre does not require as many processing stages as recycled fibre.

Our business is constantly evolving

We are carrying out research and development projects to identify new purposes for different parts of the tree that offer higher added value and environmental benefits. Our partner network plays an important role in this. For example, our bioproduct mill in Äänekoski offers a unique ecosystem and platform for cooperation and is also home to Metsä Spring’s demo plants. One of them produces textile fibre from pulp, and the other began to produce 3D fibre packaging in early 2022. The textile fibre plant has partnered with Itochu Corporation, and the 3D fibre packaging plant with Valmet. Textiles and packaging made of wood-based raw materials replace fossil-based synthetic fibres and plastic.

Metsä Group joins Ellen Mac Arthur foundation’s circular economy network

‘In building a more circular society, collaboration is key. By joining the network we can learn insights and best practices from others and share our own experience on wood-based circularity. We are looking forward to active cross-sectoral interaction’, says Maija Pohjakallio, VP for Climate and Circular Economy at Metsä Group.