For us, product stewardship is about much more than just making sure that our products are sustainable and safe to use. Product stewardship has a very broad meaning at UPM: with our sustainable product design approach, we want to make sure that we not only minimize the environmental effects of our production, but also assess social aspects and take care that our products can start a second life when they reach the end of their life cycle– and that we can prove this.
Lifelong product stewardship
We take product stewardship a step further
We focus on offering recyclable products that are made from renewable and/or recyclable raw materials. This creates a solid basis for responsible product stewardship. Our products are well suited for recycling thanks to their main raw material – renewable wood. As part of our sustainable product design approach, we actively look for innovative ways to recycle our products at the end of their life.
Our products help to mitigate climate change by replacing fossil-based products with bio-based renewable alternatives. The products store carbon for the entire duration of their lifecycle, especially when recycled multiple times. We actively develop solutions based on the circular economy model. Our target is also to provide solutions that improve our customers’ business processes and performance — creating mutual benefit and societal value. Our innovative and sustainable wood-based biomedical products, as well as our pharmaceutical and healthcare labelling solutions, are examples of where we create direct societal value. Many of our products are made from our side streams and residues or from materials recovered after product use, thus supporting circular economy.
Tools to communicate about sustainable products
We take product safety seriously. In 2020, we developed the way we communicate our product safety requirements to our pulp and paper chemical and raw material suppliers as well as to our customers. As a result of collaborating with a number of paper and chemical companies to increase transparency in the supply chain and to accelerate the exchange of information, a new “Pulp & Paper Harmonized Questionnaire” was introduced. The questionnaire enables us to pre-assess the chemicals used in the products and materials and, thus, to ensure the compliance of our products with legal requirements and additional commitments, such as ecolabel criteria.
We offer product declarations and environmental data for all our products, thus providing our customers with easy access to information they might need related to the sustainability of our products and supply chain. Our products have been granted several ecolabels, including the EU Ecolabel and The German Blue Angel. UPM’s production sites, as well as wood-sourcing and forestry operations, have a verified environmental management system in place, and all mills using wood raw material apply PEFC (PEFC/02-44-41) and/or FSC™ (FSC N003385) -certified chain-of-custody systems, or both.