Partnerships and collaboration

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Stora Enso is continuously evaluating and improving how we form partnerships, shape our business models and provide new services. Through innovation, based on customer insights, Stora Enso works to build new models of collaboration with our customers, universities and research institutes as well other companies and startups.

Research and Academia

We fund science and technology driven basic research which develop completely new knowledge, deepens understanding of fundamentals and creates potential for breakthroughs in applied research. We have various cooperation agreements with the scientific community including Aalto University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Wallenberg Wood Science Center and SweTree Technologies. We are also active in a number of national, European and trade associations focused on driving the circular bioeconomy and forestry agendas. Investing in long-term science and research is fundamental part of our core businesses future development.

Feedstock and Value Chains

Stora Enso is in a unique position to use its forest assets as a platform for innovations and development on different levels. We do a lot of biology-related research and development, such as tree breeding and forest management to improve the growth of the forest. Our long-term forest and raw-material management builds on latest advances in understanding how growth of the forest can be increased. For this there is a need to have the best seeds, seedlings and planting methods combined with the use of Forest Big Data and precision forestry. The better forests grow the more CO2 is captured by the trees.

Our aim is to build a state-of-the-art, data-driven organisation using, for example, artificial intelligence and predictive analysis. In forest work, a prime example of digitalisation opportunities is using drones for stock inventory and surveying storm damage. We are committed to using existing technology to the full and estimating future possibilities on a broad scale.

Printing paper fibers can be recycled 5−7 times, while the robust packaging fibers circulate over 20 times, depending on the end use. We are taking more steps to develop circular solutions by enabling efficient recycling and reducing carbon footprint across our own and our partners’ operations. We are researching and testing how our products perform in different kinds of recycling systems, analysing their lifecycles to reduce carbon footprint or improve material efficiency and looking closely at ways to promote recycling, reduce waste and find new end-uses for recycled materials.

Circular design is built in to our innovation and product development processes and we are constantly working on new projects and solutions for circular bioeconomy. Among our circular initiatives, we take back used paper cups and give them second life as magazine paper at Langerbrugge Mill in Belgium.

Co-innovation with Customers and Ecosystems

Customer insights and collaboration with customers and partners are an integral part of the innovation work through the entire value chain. Customer requirements together with consumer trends and market analysis underpin the development of new products to replace the fossil-based alternatives.

Tubes

Stora Enso introduces a renewable paperboard tube for cosmetics packaging to replace plastic

For manufacturing of the tubes, Stora Enso cooperates with Aisa, a world-leading tube machinery manufacturer. The runnability of the board has been tested on Aisa’s machinery to ensure flawless and efficient converting performance.

“Together with Stora Enso, we can be change agents and thereby push packaging innovation forward. With paperboard as a new, renewable material option to run on our tube machines, Aisa continues to serve the needs of the global packaging industry with cutting edge technologies,” says Jacques Thomasset, R&D Director at Aisa.

Read the full story

Stora Enso, along with other members of CEPI, the European association representing the forest fiber and paper industry, have joined forces with companies across the value chain to enable positive change in circular economy through 4evergreen industry initiative. 4evergreen aims to boost the contribution of fiber-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimizes climate and environmental impact. In addition, the goals are to increase awareness about innovation in fiber-based packaging materials and recycling, set guidelines for product design enabling circularity and secondary use of fibers, and support the development of optimized collection systems as well as critical recycling infrastructures and technologies adapted to fiber-based packaging. Read more link

Technology and Start Ups

Systematic and active work with startups is necessary for Stora Enso to keep up with the innovative business environment. Through our startup programmes, we are seeking real solutions to promote our business and simultaneously developing the entrepreneurial mindset and our own ways of working.

We welcome collaboration with innovative, fast-moving startups to advance capabilities and technologies, embrace new market opportunities and speed up our business transformation. Stora Enso Accelerator programme is our internal initiative to offer disruptive startups an exceptional opportunity to co-innovate and learn with an industry leader in renewable materials. The programme has a different focus area each year.

Stora Enso is a founding partner at Combient Foundry, Venture Client Alliance of 30 industry-leading Nordic companies. Through Combient Foundry cycles we search to partner with the best-in-class startups around the world to find solutions to actual business challenges. We aim to find long-term startup partners with whom we can build new services, products and businesses. Read more link
Together with startups and partners and through our own exploratory initiatives we are developing new renewable materials and solutions, and new platforms for business. The Stora Enso Business Labs portfolio includes initiatives such as Heal, Lumir, Sulapac, Box Inc. and Tree to Textile.

Our work in digitalisation supports in optimising current business and enabling new business models. Our focus is on digital customer experience, smart operations, transparent supply chains, robotic process automation and intelligent processes.

You can read more about our digitalisation here.

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