Partnerships and community engagement
Billerud’s business concerns and affects society and people. The ambition is to engage in local and global collaboration to help create sustainable value. We are convinced that it is through partnerships and strategic working relationships with others that we reach our full potential.
A local actor with a great responsibility
Billerud is one of the largest actors in the Swedish paper industry, employing more than every tenth person who works in the sector. We are the largest private employer in four of the five municipalities in which our Swedish production units are located. This gives us significant indirect impact on the community, for example through investments in infrastructure. Proximity to our production units also produces effects such as the opportunity to use surplus heat from production to heat homes, for example.
Active dialogue with decision-makers
Billerud participates in various local initiatives, industry organizations and networks to follow the development of legislation and strengthen the role of bio-based products in society. Our Annual and Sustainability Report contains a selection of the most significant commitments.
Proactive work creates jobs
Billerud takes a proactive and long-term approach to job creation. In addition to our own job initiatives we engage in external efforts, including the government work experience programs Tekniksprånget and Jobbsprånget.
Commitment to improve recycling and reduce plastic pollution
Through the GRACE network, Billerud drives recycling issues at a global level, with a focus on how to improve recycling systems for liquid packaging board in various countries. Billerud works on similar issues within the EU and through our involvement in EXTR:ACT. Billerud has also been represented on the board of Returkartong, which is responsible for collecting and recycling paper packaging.
Commitment to endangered species
Billerud’s biodiversity ambitions is also reflected in our partnership with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation’s, and the financial help to protect the white-backed woodpecker. The project, which Billerud has supported for many years, involves releasing birds into forests, feeding, and measures to improve habitats in Swedish forests. As part of this project, targeted forest conservation measures are carried out to improve the habitat of the woodpecker in selected geographical areas.
Another project is our support for the pool frog to enjoy better conditions, where we studied how the frog lives and what type of habitat it needs. Some findings are the importance of paying attention to corridors between the specific habitats, and when restoring habitats for the endangered frog many other species also benefit. For example, 35 out of Sweden’s 57 species of dragon flies have been found in the pool frog’s habitat.
Excess heat contributes to the production of tomatoes
At Billerud's operations in Frövi, there is a collaboration between WA3RM, Billerud, Linde Energi and Lindesberg municipality to recover excess heat from Billerud. The energy will be used to grow around 8,000 tons of tomatoes per year on an industrial scale. The project called WTL Frövi (Waste To Life) is under construction with the aim of starting in the spring of 2024. In addition to providing beneficial sustainability effects, WTL Frövi also contributes to increasing Sweden's degree of self-sufficiency in food. The project in Frövi is the first of a series planned in Scandinavia.
Ambitions to build a BCTMP and biogas plant in Follum
In a joint venture with Viken Skog Billerud aims to leverage a unique brownfield site for BCTMP production in Follum, Norway. The site has the potential to generate new sustainable revenue streams due to good infrastructure, location and 100% fossil free energy. Except from BCTMP and biogas production there is also possible to work with carbon capture. The plans and work in Follum will continue during 2023.
United Way Campaign yet another success
Each fall, Billerud North America hosts a campaign at each of its locations, including the corporate office, to raise money for the United Way affiliate representing the area for each location. Throughout the campaign, various contests and events were held as fundraisers such as a chili cook off and silent auctions.
United Way is an international network of over 1,800 local nonprofit fundraising affiliates that seeks to improve the health, education, and economic mobility of every person in every community they serve.
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. During the years, most recently during the spring of 2023, we have held a number of events and workshops including what is known as ‘CSR Live’, where a group of students had the opportunity to visit Billerud’s sustainability department.