Stora Enso Consumer Board and Packaging Solutions

Redesigning the future with renewable packaging

12/16/2013

Long term sustainability is good for business

“We are here to make a difference. A positive difference. We want to be a good example for how a western company can contribute in a good way to the Chinese society.”

​The statement by Phillip Berry, who recently was appointed Sustainability Director at Stora Enso in Guangxi in China, leaves no doubt. Sustainability is key to Stora Enso wherever it operates. Mr Berry is well qualified for the job. He has spent most of his adult life working with sustainability issues. Starting in the late 70’s in Oregon, USA.

“But, of course, back then we didn’t call it sustainability. The term is quite modern and it was more about pollution prevention then. The issues were rather new and there weren’t much regulation in place”, he remembers.

Since then, he has worked for different large US corporations and government agencies, both within the US and in several countries in Asia. He early on made the connection between environment, quality and lean manufacturing. It all boils down to sustainability. He has assisted transnational companies in setting up sustainable supply chains for their Asian operations and been a consultant in stakeholder engagement.


Mr Berry has been working in China for many years and sees how it is now changing rapidly.

​“Many people have not yet understood that China is not a country for low cost production anymore. China has a labour shortage and an aging population, just like many other countries. Instead the growth comes from consumption as the economy of the country expands. Stora Enso is in China to meet local demand, and we want to be a part of local society for a long time, just like Stora Enso has been in Sweden and Finland for decades.”

Stora Enso has been in the region of Guangxi, in the south-western part of China, since 2002. A large mill is being set up but still Stora Enso is mainly a forestry operation here. This means that the company is engaging with many different villages and landowners. 
 “We have to apply the same strict ethics as we use everywhere else, but we also need to have respect for the local context. It is a learning process both ways. It’s humbling to realise that China has a 5,000 year long history of civilisation and that it is a vast country with many different cultures, even within the same region. It’s really is a cultural melting pot.” says Mr Berry. 

 He is confident Stora Enso will be successful in Guangxi. 

 “My job is to reduce social and environmental impact and make sure we act as a responsible corporate citizen. We depend on people wanting to do business with us. We want to be a part in improving peoples life.“

 Stora Enso needs to understand the local culture and social context that sometimes varies from village to village. The city of Beihai in Guangxi is among the last provinces to be developed along coastal China. Stora Enso is among the first large companies to be established here. 
 
“Being here early in the process gives us a chance to set a good example, which we definitely intend to do.”