Life cycle assessments and Environmental product declarations

Billerud believes that we can make a difference on the planet. But it is important that environmental claims are supported by sound, independent, transparent, and data-driven analysis. This is why we perform life cycle assessments (LCA) and develop environmental product declarations (EPD). That way, our customers can compare the environmental performance of our products with conventional alternatives.

Customers’ knowledge and interest in detailed environmental assessments is constantly increasing. Billerud conduct life cycle assessments (LCA) and environmental product declarations (EPD) when evaluating the environmental performance of our products. We are working to further develop a digital tool for calculating the environmental performance of packaging. The current tool is used in a few business areas today, but in 2023 the tool will be able to cover a larger proportion of products.

Conducted by environmental experts

We have commissioned independent research institutes, such as IVL Swedish Environmental Research and RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), to conduct the LCA's of some of our products. The studies compare paper packaging made of Billerud material with corresponding solutions made of other materials. The assessments consider the entire product life cycle: from material production to the disposal or recycling of the finished packaging. As per ISO 14040, the studies are subject to independent peer reviews.

Life cycle assessments

Online retail packaging

Bags made of Billerud’s paper Xpression E-com can reduce fossil emissions by 50 percent compared to virgin plastic, and lead to a net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That is the result from a LCA that compares the environmental impact of different types of online retail packaging. 

Comparing the environmental profile of mailer bags made from innovative Xpression E-Com® kraft paper against existing e-commerce mailing solutions, RISE, 2020

Shallow trays

Billerud’s FibreForm® tray is a paper-based solution to pack products such as cooked meats. This LCA compares the environmental profile of FibreForm food trays against existing plastic solutions. The study concludes that the FibreForm tray has the lowest climate impact.

Comparing the environmental profile of innovative FibreForm ® food trays against existing plastic packaging solutions, RISE, 2019 

Carrier bags

In this LCA, carrier bags made of our material are compared to bags made of recycled paper, recycled plastic and bioplastic. As can be seen in the graph below, a carrier bag made of Billerud’s paper is the best alternative from a climate perspective. Click the links below to read the life cycle assessments.

Comparative LCA study of various concepts for shopping bags and cement sacks, IVL, 2016

Comparative LCA study of virgin fibre based packaging products with competing plastic materials, IVL, 2015

Environmental product declarations

Environmental product declarations according to standards, such as ISO 14025, 14040 and 14044, make it possible to compare the performance of different products from an environmental perspective throughout their life cycles, and to calculate the environmental impact of the finished packaging products. The declarations present information such as emissions that affect the climate, acidification, the ozone layer and over-fertilization. Resource consumption is also stated. Billerud’s data are verified by an independent third party. See