Meet Johan Granås, one of the key individuals in Iggesund Paperboard’s mission to run as green a business as possible.
“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.
"Sustainability must run through all our operations: the raw material, the manufacturing processes and the products.”
“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 operations: the raw material, the manufacturing processes and the products.”
Three questions for Johan…
Which social trends will influence how we package food in the future?
“One is urbanisation. More and more people are living in smaller households and this is driving the development of portion packaging. In addition, internet access and increasing online shopping are placing greater demands on the packaging’s quality and robustness, for instance against transport damages.”
In what way?
“Compared with products sold in conventional shops, online retailing does a lot more repackaging, and each occasion involves the risk of various types of damage. This situation will also lead to the development of various kinds of indicators to show whether the package has been opened or the cold chain broken. Today most food products come in a single type of packaging. As online retailing increases its market share, the needs of giants like Wal-Mart will lead to demands for several types of packaging for the same product.”
What other future developments can we expect?
“Long-term environmental work will continue to increase in importance, and this will give renewable raw materials a considerable advantage compared with petroleum-based ones. The challenge for us is to develop properties in the paperboard that broaden its areas of application. For some time now, people have been interested in the origin of what they eat. Today the care of the production and sourcing of material concerns both the contents and the packaging.”