In Finland Metsä Group and VR intensify their cooperation on sustainability

Metsa Group Aanekoski pulp mill. Source:

Finnish companies Metsä Group and VR are intensifying their cooperation on sustainability in logistics and have agreed a new joint target to halve emissions from transport covered by their cooperation by 2030. In addition, Metsä Group aims to transfer some of its current road transports to railways. For Metsä Group, the measures would represent a total emission reduction of around 14,000 tCO2e per year, which is equivalent to more than 25,000 average lorry journeys. 

“One of Metsä Group’s strategic sustainability goals for 2030 is to reduce the fossil emissions of our operations and fossil based materials. We have already made good progress in achieving this goal at our mills and would like to see similar development in our supply chain. VR is an important partner for Metsä Group in the logistics of both wood raw material and products, and together we can achieve significant improvements in our environmental performance,”, said Jari Voutilainen, SVP, Sourcing and Logistics, from Metsä Group. 

Metsä Group and VR have set up a joint working group to define concrete ways to achieve the emissions reduction target. The measures include the electrification of the rail network, more efficient train concepts and the use of diesel made from renewable raw materials.

“Sustainability is a key part of the strategy of both VR and Metsä Group. Together, we reduce emissions from transport and accelerate the transition to a carbon neutral Finland. In principle, rail transport is the most energy-efficient mode of transport with the lowest emissions, and it plays a critical role in mitigating climate change. As a strong partner to industry, we are helping our customers achieve their environmental goals,” said Eljas Koistinen, Senior Vice President, VR Transpoint.

Every year, VR transports around 5 million cubic metres of Metsä Group’s wood and mechanical wood products and 2.1 million tonnes of other forest industry products such as pulp and paperboard. With Metsä Group’s ongoing investments, transport volumes will increase.

VR Group, owned by the Finnish State, is a responsible service company that focuses on travel, logistics and maintenance. In 2021, the company’s net sales were EUR 838.3 million euros and VR employed over 5,600 top professionals. On board their trains, 55 million journeys were made, and transported 37.4 million metric tonnes of goods. 

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