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Global consumption is rapidly growing but at the same time, consumer awareness of eco-friendly materials and limited natural resources is rising and regulation on circularity and sustainability is increasing.
In a circular economy, waste is minimised as materials are reused and recycled to maximise environmental and financial value. We believe that a circular economy is only truly possible when raw materials are also circular – materials that can be renewed over and over again. This requires a transition towards a circular bioeconomy where fossil-based materials are replaced with renewable ones such as wood.
Stora Enso’s circular economy target outlines the commitment to transparent and circular material flows that help minimise waste and combat climate change. The interim targets for this include achieving 100% recyclable products by 2030. Flagship projects focused on infrastructure will help drive recycling at scale. This involves engagement along our value chain and new circular business models.
When products and materials are recycled, the need for new materials is reduced and greenhouse gas emissions from raw material extraction decreases.
Stora Enso has long been a pioneer in sustainable packaging, replacing plastics, reducing material use and designing for recycling and reuse.
The choice of raw materials and how they are sourced, used, recovered and reused in product design, manufacturing and supply chain all affect circularity.
A circular bioeconomy encompasses all parts of the value chain. Replacing fossil-based materials from the start and furthermore supporting recycling are key building blocks. With our renewable raw materials at the foundation, Stora Enso is taking further steps to increase the amount of recycled fibers in our supply, as well as investing in recycling capacity of our products. We have additionally, together with customers and industry, developed circularity guidelines for product portfolio development and innovation projects and sustainability services to help our customers replace plastics with fiber-based packaging in line with sustainability ambitions.
We also firmly promote reduction of waste as much as possible, using valuable raw materials to the fullest extent. Wood fibers can be recycled at least 5-7 times, sometimes over 20 times. Once fibers become too degraded to recycle, they can then be used to make bioenergy. In addition, residual fly ash from bioenergy production can be used for purposes such as land construction or even turned into new products. Recycling also requires a steady flow of fresh raw materials for improved durability and functionality. Itt matters where the raw material comes from – can it be regrown or will it run out? Wood fibers that originate from sustainably managed forests (like 100% of Stora Enso's wood) are renewed through new forest growth.