Closer to nature
Meet Johan Granås and Ian Black, two key individuals (both celebrating 20 years with Iggesund) in Iggesund Paperboard’s mission to run as green a business as possible.
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Johan Granås photographed near his house in Iggesund. Photo: Lindsten/Nilsson
“Closeness to the fantastic nature here was a decisive factor when my family and I chose to settle in Iggesund. The forest is literally around the corner from our farm. I spend a lot of my spare time in the forest together with my family – it is where we exercise, pick berries and mushrooms, and hunt moose. I come from a family of forest owners and I am the fifth generation to take care of the family’s forest holdings.
“I’m celebrating my twentieth anniversary at Iggesund Paperboard this year. As I recall, the recruitment process was very informal. Someone phoned me and wondered if I could come and ‘take a look at how we work’. That’s what happened. Since then I’ve held several positions. I’ve worked with development at Iggesund Mill and been product manager for Invercote but also worked a lot with business development.
“For some time now I have been Sustainability Communication Manager. That means it is my responsibility that we communicate our sustainability to the market in an interesting and clear way. And also that sustainability has a natural place in our communication as a whole. It’s also my job to incorporate the market’s desires for sustainability into our own organisation and ensure that we are constantly developing. Today there is an interest in these issues that did not exist before. It makes our job much more enjoyable because these issues are close to our heart.
“Sometimes sustainability is a dealmaker – for example when customers demand we supply paperboard certified according to FSC or PEFC. But it’s also hugely important that our commitment is clear to everyone who visits us. We must be able to show that we have control over these issues in a larger context as well. Sustainability must run through all our production stages: the raw material, the mills, the logistics.”
Ian Black photographed near his house in Workington. Photo: Andrew Findlay
“My first introduction to nature was when my father carried me to the summit of
Helvellyn here in Cumbria at the age of three. That’s the third-highest mountain in England and when I walk there now, it seems like this was quite an optimistic thing to do.
“Ever since, my interest in the natural environment has been consistent. My appreciation grows each year and I do not differentiate between the great and the not so great experiences. After searching for years, I got a close-up view of one of England’s last golden eagles in the late 1990s, which was amazing. But I equally appreciate the robin that lives in our garden and has twice hopped through our front door and gone into our sitting room.
“Given my personal interest in nature, it is great to be part of the evident, sustainable development of our mill processes and products here in Workington. I have been with Iggesund for twenty years now and these days my full title is Head of Pulp and Power.
“The variety is the best aspect of my job. Daily optimisation of the production performance is my immediate challenge but I also need to focus on the long-term mill development. Now that our renewable power plant has been operating for three to four years, we are working hard with energy performance and environmental development as well as how we can support the on-going Incada quality development. As the power plant is a government-registered UK renewable power station, I also work a lot with the government agencies certifying our sustainable fuel sources, renewable power generation, efficiencies and carbon emissions.
“We try our best not to only tell our visitors about our efforts for the environment but also to show them by inviting them here to the beautiful lake district of Cumbria. Many people have gradually moved away from this type of lifestyle and experience and that’s why a visit here can help us form a long-term business relationship. I think our visitors remember their mill and forest visits.”
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