Foreword: Actions speak louder than words
It was great to be reminded in Barcelona that this really is a people business. Face-to-face meetings gave us a chance to catch up properly and to listen to each other in this turbulent market. The price cycle may be with or against us at any one time, but one constant that is always clear from these conversations is that we all share a heightened concern for the environment and a sense of urgency when it comes to the need for climate mitigation. We need only watch the headlines reporting heatwaves, fires and floods just about everywhere, to understand that the planet is trying to tell us something: the time for just talking about reducing our carbon footprint is over.
Actions speak louder than words, which is why we are doing everything we can to focus on sustainability. Among the announcements we made in Barcelona was the news that Södra now has a Nature Conservation Premium which rewards those members who set aside more of their estate for conservation than is stipulated by regulation or certification systems (on average our members already set aside 8 percent of their land compared to the 5 percent stipulated by FSC/PEFC). This is a cost we will be absorbing, not passing on.
I’ve been heading up Södra Paper Pulp sales for a year now and feel strongly about the focus we are placing on sustainability and meeting ambitious climate-related targets. We’ve listened to the feedback from the last customer survey on sustainability and for the fourth year running, we’re ranked as Platinum in the Ecovardis Business Sustainability index, the highest rating possible. This couldn’t happen without the people behind the pulp and the years of shared expertise and experience in sustainable forestry and sophisticated process technology that Södra is known for.
Within my own team, I’m delighted to welcome Alexandra Pisano as Sales Director who starts next month, replacing Tomas Bichler, and making for a very strong team. We will take the opportunity to redistribute accounts slightly to be able to both balance internal workloads and to improve our service offering yet further. In the meantime, the door is always open to continue the conversation on working together towards a better future.
Jens Hallendorff, Head of Sales Paper Pulp Global