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Stora Enso Taking Steps to Accelerate Plastic-Free Innovation

January 05, 2021

The continuous upwards trend in demand for sustainable consumer solutions is undeniable. Modern shoppers are more aware of what and how they consume, and the long-term impact their habits have on the planet. Creating an environment that relies less on plastics is a monumental task that requires fresh, innovative ideas and cooperation from stakeholders throughout the global supply chain.

Finland-based Stora Enso, one of the world’s foremost renewable materials companies, is working to help companies and society transform towards a circular bioeconomy, and shift from fossil-based materials to renewable ones. The company is doing this through the new Stora Enso Accelerator Program, which is being offered to innovative startup companies.

This program allows startups to learn directly from embedded Stora Enso employees, who will join their teams to help collaborate on sustainability-minded business opportunities under the guidance of Stora Enso Group Leadership Team (GLT) coaches. This working dynamic provides startups with a unique opportunity to co-create solutions that could potentially lead to commercial partnerships or new product-market matches.

Stora strongly encourages participation from startups that offer services or products that could be applied toward a goal to reduce plastic within the supply chain. Areas of focus include new material solutions, supply chain technologies, process optimization, analytics, IoT, design, manufacturing or artificial intelligence that contribute to solutions that can reduce or eliminate plastic.

Stora Enso is specifically seeking companies for original and sustainable solutions in the following areas:

  • Plastic-free Solutions: Applying technology to develop solutions that replace, reduce, recycle or repurpose plastics in any industrial process.
  • Plastic-free Company Branding: Exploring new ways to maximize brand awareness and recognition as global leasers of plastic-free advances.
  • Plastic-free Packaging: Exploring creative packaging solutions that eliminate or reduce the need for plastic from companies’ operations.
  • Process Redesign: Finding radical ways to redesign industrial processes in a way that doesn’t require plastic.
  • Eliminating Plastic Waste: Investigating opportunities in the separation and sorting of plastic materials in business operation to reduce plastic waste
  • Plastic Consumption Tracking and Reduction: Discovering new ways to track, manage. And reduce plastic materials associated with a company’s personal consumption, production, manufacturing, and shipping.

The ground is shifting, and a concerted response surrounding ecological responsibility and sustainability is occurring in areas that seemed impenetrable just a few years ago. Corporate leaders across the global pulp and paper sector are in an excellent place to help frame the debate—and the policy—that will be part of the solution going forward. Stora Enso’s Accelerator Program is an excellent example of the kind of responsible corporate leadership that is needed to pioneer a forward-thinking, circular bioeconomy. You can learn more about Stora Enso and its sustainability initiatives here.

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