Foreword: Roll on 2021!
Dear Friends, It seems both no time at all and a world away since we were wishing you the best at the end of 2019. What a difference a year makes. Little did we know that 2020 would be a year that we would rather forget but will always remember.
On a personal level, we sincerely hope that you and your families have managed to stay safe and well in these troubled times. At a business level, we have done our utmost to quell the turbulence. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our customers, for your support and cooperation, but also our own staff for their dedication. They have ensured production ran smoothly under the most challenging conditions and enabled us to find new ways of working together, both within Södra and throughout the supply chain. You can read more in this edition about the support staff who helped to keep our wheels turning.
Covid-19 will be known as an accelerator of many trends, forcing companies to make decisions more quickly than they may have done otherwise, and we were no exception: We had to replace physical meetings with digital communication, we devised new working conditions for employees and we held our first online customer events. These will not displace face-to-face meetings when we are allowed to meet again, but they will add to our capabilities in the future.
While day-to-day operations were in focus perhaps more than ever, we continued to look beyond this awful year with long-term investments. These include plans to expand paper pulp capacity at Värö, as well as world firsts in the form of a commercial biomethanol plant at Mönsterås and reaching our target to produce a new material for the textile industry containing 20% recycled cotton fibres at Mörrum. Covid-19 changed many things this year, but not our resolve to find more sustainable solutions for the future.
Within Södra, we mourned the very sad loss of our former CEO Lars Idermark. Lotta Lyrå is our new CEO and we will appreciate her leadership into 2021 and beyond.
We end the year with the positive news that science is winning and there is light at the end of the tunnel. As the vaccine producers get ready to roll out mass immunisation programmes in record time, we are reminded of what can be achieved when we work together for a common goal. Within our own industry, we too have an opportunity and a responsibility to help make the world a better place, and this too is cause for celebration.
So, on that note of optimism, we wish you and your families a happy and healthy festive season. We count our blessings and look forward to a brighter year ahead and a more sustainable future for us all.
With all good wishes (and good riddance to 2020!),
Henrik and Johannes
Henrik Wettergen, Vice President Södra Cell International and Johannes Bogren, Vice President, Södra Cell Bioproducts
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