Biofuels offer a climate-positive solution that society cannot afford to ignore. Panu Routasalo explains how UPM is spearheading efforts to replace carbon-intensive fossil energy with plant power. Thirteen years ago Panu Routasalo was working as an engineer in oil production. Around the same time, UPM also stood at a watershed point in its history. Squeezed by digitalisation, forestry was branded a sunset industry and doomed to a rapid demise. Prematurely, it turns out. Today forestry is a thriving sunrise industry, with UPM leading the pack as an innovator of sustainable wood-based alternatives to oil-based products. Routasalo heads this pioneering work in his current role as UPM’s Vice President of Biofuels.
UPM has been listed as the forest and paper industry leader in the in the Dow Jones European and World Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for 2018-2019 for the sixth time.
“We create value by seizing the limitless potential of bioeconomy, this is what we are committed to do at UPM”, says Sami Lundgren, Vice President, UPM Environment and Responsibility.
Global megatrends and their impacts on the environment and society make it clear that a major turnaround in the use of non-renewable fossil-based products and materials is needed. As the leader of the bio-based forest industry UPM’s mission is to be a part of the solution.
“Creating value for society both as a company and through our renewable and responsible products is an essential part of the Biofore strategy, since our operations and products have an impact on society at large. Understanding our influence is a prerequisite for us to develop our operations and to respond to the needs of surrounding communities,” concludes Lundgren.
The annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment is conducted by an investment specialist RobecoSAM, and is based on a rigorous analysis of economic, environmental and social performance of the world’s leading companies, assessing issues covering climate change strategies, supply chain standards, labour practices, corporate governance and risk management. The DJSI follows a best-in-class approach, recognising companies across all industries that outperform their peers in sustainability metrics.