Innovation that challenges conventional packaging
Innovation is rooted in ongoing research and development work. In close partnership with various customers and partners, BillerudKorsnäs is simultaneously developing solutions and packaging for a more sustainable world.
Continuous development of high-performance packaging materials and products
Our packaging materials are used every day, all over the world. We are a leading global supplier of primary fibrebased packaging materials that have good environmental credentials, unique properties and the requisite strength. The long list of applications includes packaging for foods, construction materials and exclusive goods such as jewellery, perfumes and wine. Running continuous research and development work and planning for new material and product launches within three to five years forms the basis of the company’s innovation work. To ensure continuous development, BillerudKorsnäs measures the proportion of new products in the overall sales for each segment.
Strategic technology development
Green material technologies are a focus area for the Group’s innovation work, which aims to make the materials lighter, stronger and stiffer, as well as improving barrier performance and printability. Over the year, BillerudKorsnäs set up two technology centres to increase the emphasis on developing technologies that are judged to be strategically important for the Group’s growth opportunities.
The current focus is on creating new functionalities in the surface of the packaging and in the fibre-based packaging material.
Challenging conventional packaging requires the constant development of our materials and of new applications for paper. In its drive to boost innovation work and find revolutionary solutions that challenge plastic, glass and aluminium, we continue to invest in challenger projects in a handful of areas – a paper bottle for drinks that have never before been packaged in paper, interactive packaging and packaging in cold chains.
These projects are run within the subsidiary BillerudKorsnäs Venture AB (Venture). Venture accelerates the transformation of packaging solutions by investing in innovative start-up companies. Taking a long-term perspective, BillerudKorsnäs works closely and actively with the companies to ensure that they develop and grow. Once the companies are more mature, they can be incorporated into BillerudKorsnäs or further developed as independent enterprises. In addition to the projects run within Venture, there is a consolidation of our innovation work on barriers for dry and wet foods, and on the use of the exciting additive microfibrillated cellulose, for example to create lighter and stronger board.
Packaging as a competitive advantage
Innovation is about more than material and product innovation for BillerudKorsnäs. Technological breakthroughs are a significant factor, but business innovation is also growing in importance, with new business models creating opportunities for the packaging industry. A deeper understanding of the end user’s needs and wishes makes it necessary to take a holistic approach to packaging. This holistic approach includes looking at the role of the packaging for the end user, for the business and for society and the planet. When packaging takes on the role of a valuable information carrier or a driver of increased efficiency, quality and sustainability, it becomes a strategic competitive advantage. Collaboration the key to success BillerudKorsnäs is managing change through collaborations both internally and externally. Curiosity and openness to other people’s ideas are crucial in finding synergies and creating joint development projects with converters, brand owners and other actors. Broad collaborative projects are invaluable in laying the foundation for more radical research results. A prime example is BillerudKorsnäs’ involvement in a national research platform aimed at increasing the pace of development in the Swedish forest industry. The platform is a joint initiative between industry, universities and the Swedish state. The aim is to generate groundbreaking research results that can translate into high-tech solutions for the forest industry and help to meet the climate challenge. The building blocks of the Swedish forest have potential, not least to incorporate primary fibre into a new generation of packaging solutions.