Towards fossil free raw materials

Our aim is to seek bio-based alternatives for the fossil oil-based raw materials and packaging materials that we currently use.

Our main raw material is wood, which is a renewable raw material originating from sustainably managed forests. Currently, most of our raw materials are already obtained from renewable sources. Our target, in our efforts to contribute towards a low carbon society, is that by 2030 we will eliminate the use of any fossil oil-based raw materials or packaging materials.

Our aim is to seek bio-based alternatives for the fossil oil-based raw materials and packaging materials that we currently use. This review will be done taking into account the environmental aspects of the alternative material. Targets comprise of raw materials and packaging materials included in the finished products which are produced by Metsä Group.

In 2021, the share of fossil free raw materials was 99.6% of volume (dry tonnes). Our main raw material, wood, accounts for 95% of all raw materials. The main fossil oil-based raw materials that we are looking to replace are latex, plastic coatings and hydrophobic sizing agents which are used in board production; converting and wet strength glues used in tissue production; and phenolic resins used in wood products production, in addition to packaging materials used in multiple business areas. For most of the raw materials, alternatives have been researched and, for some of them, a replacement already found. Business areas’ research and development teams and centralised raw material sourcing teams have planned activities to find and evaluate alternative raw materials and estimate any impact they may have on our product portfolio. Follow-up of targets and the review of roadmaps are done by Metsä Group’s Sustainability Process Management Team.

There are, however, challenges in replacing fossil oil-based raw materials with fossil free raw materials. One example is latex which is used to enable good printing quality of coatings and provide stiffness and toughness when the paperboard is converted or bent to form boxes and other forms.