The company has been export-oriented since its establishment in 1973, expanding its market and operations from Europe to other regions, such as the Middle East and Asia, which is nowadays the main source of growth of its business.
Metsä Fibre began its close collaboration with ITOCHU Corporation early on, which enabled the company to develop its business throughout Asia.
The bond between these two companies became even stronger as ITOCHU Corp. acquired 25 percent of shares from Metsä Fibre in 2012.
“ITOCHU’s deep knowledge of the market and extensive network allows us to expand the market areas and make more strategic investments, respond better to customer demands, and stay ahead of the trends,” said Ismo Nousiainen, chief executive officer of Metsä Fibre.
Metsä Fibre also wants to further strengthen its position on Japan’s sawn timber and pulp markets.
“Traditionally, Europe and Northern Africa have been strong markets for our sawn timber, and our market in China is growing strong, but we also want to continue to foster our relationship with our Japanese clients,” he added.
Moving forward, the company is aiming to develop sustainable solutions to address the issues concerning the current state of the environment. “Sustainability is in the core of all our operations. Resource efficiency saves raw materials, and our aim is to utilize 100 percent of wood raw materials. We see that wood-based solutions will replace fossil-based raw materials in, for example, packaging,” Nousiainen said.
The company went through a milestone in 2017 when it replaced its old pulp mill, located in the town of Äänekoski, and invested €1.2 billion on a modern bioproduct mill, making it the largest investment in the history of the Northern Hemisphere forest industry.
By shifting to more ecofriendly solutions, Metsä Fibre also aims to become the top producer of bioproducts all over the world.
“In order to meet our strategic targets, we need to ensure that we have the best people working with us as we create new products and new possibilities towards the success of our business,” Nousiainen said.
Aside from producing world-class products, the company also focuses on giving quality service to its customers worldwide.
“Our customers are very important to us and we want to continuously exceed their expectations by giving them the best product quality and value-added services,” said Nousiainen.