At Billerud we are convinced that it is through partnerships and strategic working relationships with others that we reach our full potential. We cannot tackle global sustainability challenges alone. This approach allows us to learn from one another, to spread knowledge and to generate broader positive impact on society and our environment.
Tara Ocean Foundation
Plastic debris in the sea is one of the biggest environmental problems of our age – millions of tonnes of plastic find their way into the seas and oceans every year. According to a report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation there will be more plastic in the sea than fish – measured by weight – in 2050. This constitutes a genuine threat to ecosystems worldwide and, by extension, to humans.
That is why Billerud jointly finances and works closely with the French research organisation Tara Ocean Foundation in order to contribute to building up know¬ledge about the impact plastic is having on our seas
Network with students
In order to make contact with students interested in sustainability issues, and to contribute to their education, Billerud works with Sustainergies – a network that focuses on sustainability for the business community, academia and students. In 2015, we held a number of events including what is known as ‘CSR Live’, where a group of students had the opportunity to visit Billerud’s sustainability department.
We also participated in ‘Sustainergies Cup’, a competition in which students from all parts of the world put forward their innovative ideas for helping various companies tackle sustainability challenges. For its assignment, Billerud asked the students to describe how we will be buying and consuming food in the future, and how this may affect the need for packaging. The winning entry came from three engineering students at Uppsala University: Alireza Hosseini Shabestari and Daniel Ismail Eriksson, who are studying Mechanical Engineering, and Anders Larsson, who is taking a Master’s degree in Industrial Management and Innovation. In their vision entitled ‘The Billerud Way’, they lay out a timeline stretching 50 years into the future, with carbon-negative packaging as one of the leading innovations. Their solution illustrates how society can close the circuit for food production as the global population approaches ten billion.
For additional information about Sustainergies Cup, click here to visit their website.
Project White-Backed Woodpecker
The white-backed woodpecker is seriously endangered, largely because its habitat – deciduous forests containing a lot of dead wood – is being replaced by spruce and pine forests. Sustainability in forestry is a key issue for Billerud, which is why we have decided to participate in ‘Project White-Backed Woodpecker’ as from 2016.
We are supporting the construction of breeding cages for the white-backed woodpecker, as well as a rearing facility at Järvzoo. We are also helping to restore areas of deciduous forest for the white-backed woodpecker – areas that are also important to many other species of insect and bird. By fattening up white-backed woodpecker chicks that we then release into healthy, restored deciduous woods, we hope to make this species of bird become a natural feature of our forests once more.
For further reading, visit Swedish Society for Nature Conservations website.