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Global Pulp News Foreword: A world of opportunity awaits

A world of opportunity awaits

It is a privilege to be the new President and CEO of the Södra Group. While the pandemic has meant that I have yet to meet many of my team members in person, Södra is far from new to me. I worked for the company 12 years ago, before moving on to IKEA and Clas Ohlson, and I am delighted to be back.

While 12 years may not be a lifetime, I’m entering a partially different setting than the one I left. Södra has long held the values of sustainable forest management at its core, but now they are more important than ever. Today, the potential of our sector to influence climate change is the major driving force behind our strategy. This is both exciting, inspiring and challenging. It is, surely, a world of opportunities. 

The forest is increasingly seen as the lungs of the planet. How we manage this asset will determine the capacity of those lungs. As Södra has control over the entire value chain, from seed to customer, we play an important part in this. And this is a story we need to continue telling as widely as possible, from the general public to politicians. It should also be the image we use to attract the best talent to our businesses for the future.

It is crucial. Because creating sustainability, in business value or in our way of life, is not done on our own. It’s about how we together use the Earth’s resources wisely and how we develop more sustainable solutions for everyday life. For Södra, it’s also about how we together support our 53,000 members in rural southern Sweden in developing their forests in the best possible way. Cooperation is as important as ever. By linking arms across the value chain, we strengthen our stories and enhance our chances of finding new solutions for more sustainable living.

We have two ears and one mouth. Solutions are not found by polarising and fighting, but by listening and cooperation. 

Södra has a strong track record when it comes to building relationships with customers. It’s one I intend to build upon and extend, including as many relevant stakeholders as possible. The same is true for digitalisation. There is huge potential to join the dots when it comes to data from forest to end consumers. Adding this to a smarter use of fibre means enhanced profitability for us all. 

Of course, any CEO is a temporary guardian. My job is to ensure that my eventual successor will find Södra in the best of health, having strengthened its position as a sustainable business and contributor to a more balanced climate. 

We can only be as successful as our customers. This is not a journey we take alone, but together. I look forward to working with you for a prosperous, and more sustainable, future.

Lotta Lyrå, President and CEO, Södra

 

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