IGGESUND, Sweden, March 5, 2019 (Press Release) -The Holmen Group’s paperboard manufacturer, Iggesund Paperboard, has received the highest rating for sustainability in an evaluation done this year by the rating firm EcoVadis. The paperboard is produced at Iggesund Mill in Sweden and at Workington, England. EcoVadis is the leading system for assessing and rating the suppliers of global companies and has done more than 45,000 evaluations in 150 countries. Companies using EcoVadis include Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, L’Oréal and Heineken.
“This is one of many confirmations that Iggesund Paperboard and its parent company, the Holmen Group, have a very strong sustainability programme,” comments Johan Granås, Sustainability Communications Manager at Iggesund. “The issues have shifted over time from being purely environmental ones to now encompassing the entire field of sustainability.”
Both Iggesund Mill and its sister mill at Workington have received the highest rating, the Gold Standard. They are both thereby among the top one percent of all the companies assessed by EcoVadis and are among the two top percent of the assessed companies in the paper industry.
Over the last ten-year period, the Holmen Group has appeared on indexes of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies, drawn up by both the UN’s Global Compact and the Corporate Knights. The Group has also been repeatedly named by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as a leader in the work against climate change.
“It’s becoming more and more important to be able to document your sustainability work so that customers know where we stand in this regard,” Granås adds. “That’s where EcoVadis and similar systems come in. They are a major advance in simplifying the exchange of information between customers and suppliers.”
At Iggesund Paperboard, sustainability issues have been a key focus for decades, and, for example, are always included in discussions about possible investments.
“It’s easy to point to business deals where our sustainability position was a decisive factor, and the importance of these issues will only increase in future,” says Granås.
First-class sustainability work is an important prerequisite for being able to do business with major brand owners, who today are often leading the shift towards a more sustainable society.
“We believe that our customers, the brand owners and we ourselves are all winners in this trend towards greater openness,” Granås emphasises. “And, of course, it’s very gratifying to see that we’re already ranked so highly today.”
Iggesund’s sustainability has yet another dimension: how its paperboard material is used. The types of paperboard made at the mill have a very low environmental impact, and if they are used to replace plastic packaging, the climate effects are even greater.
“When this type of material replacement is added to the equation, companies can achieve a dramatic reduction of their climate impact by using our material. These effects are not included in the EcoVadis assessments but they are also an important part of the battle against the greenhouse effect,” concludes Johan Granås.
Iggesund Paperboard is part of the Swedish forest industry group Holmen, one of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies listed on the United Nations Global Compact Index. Iggesund’s turnover is just over €500 million and its flagship product Invercote is sold in more than 100 countries. The company has two brand families, Invercote and Incada, both positioned at the high end of their respective segments. Since 2010 Iggesund has invested more than €380 million to increase its energy efficiency and reduce the fossil emissions from its production.
Iggesund and the Holmen Group report all their fossil carbon emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The environmental data form an integral part of an annual report that complies with the Global Reporting Initiative’s highest level of sustainability reporting. Iggesund was founded as an iron mill in 1685, but has been making paperboard for more than 50 years. The two mills, in northern Sweden and northern England employ 1500 people.