“We have had very few impacts on our operations and businesses”: Annica Bresky

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Find short conversation with Annica Bresky, CEO at Stora Enso during AGM of Stora Enso over the issue of COVID and its Operation.

“We have had very few impacts on our operations and businesses”: Annica Bresky

Q & A with Annica Bresky, CEO at Stora Enso 

How the Corona Pandemic impacted Stora Enso so far?

This are exceptional times for all of us, We were very early with our action as a company, already in January, when we heard about the corona virus in China, we introduced ban on travel, social distancing, running all our meeting digitally.

What has the corona virus meant for management team and yourself?

Well, any crisis, I think we get closer together as a leadership team. We have been able to focus what is really important; the health of our employees comes first, so the lot of action surround that. But also making sure that we can deliver on our commitments to our customers making sure supply chain works, our company strong financially that we run our profit protection programme so on and as a leadership team off course it's been lot of digital meaning, but I m very happy to see also how quickly and effortless, the organization has been able to find new ways of collaboration of working. We have had very few impacts on our operations and businesses.

Tell us about Stora's focus on innovation and investing in research and developments. What is the progress on that?

Yes, we have decided that we will be the leaders in innovation in our industry and our promise to the market is that everything that based on fossil material today can be done by using wood fibres tomorrow. This is the platform for our innovation agenda, so last year as I said, we reached 7 per cent of our sale from new products and services and our target is to reach 15 percent over the years and by listening to our customers and providing solutions with in packaging innovation, for instance, new barrier development or looking at the different packaging applications, construction of high rise building using wood products. This is how we make a positive impact.

What are the focus areas for Stora Enso?

Yes, we focus on replacing and reducing plastic. Plastic packaging is a major driver of lot of pollution that we have on planet and our renewable solution are already there to use. We have been leveraging digital applications, for instance, intelligent packaging. 

Where do you see currently the highest demand for a noble products?

I see the demand with in food packaging, hygienic packaging, tissue, healthcare, and pharmaceutical packaging, post covid the e-commerce that has grown substantially, people are getting goods delivered to homes, I don't think that trend will diminish. This is also one area where we have very strong positions for our products.

Thinking about the current situation of Corona pandemic, do you see any risk that effect of coronavirus will reduce the sort of focus on combating global warming?, and as an additional affect actually reduce the interest in fossil free products.

I don't believe so; I think that short term perhaps most of the governments are putting their efforts in protecting the people and also businesses making sure that they can stay strong through this period, but in long term, we see the effect of climate change all around us and what I m positive about is that normally crisis creates also innovative environment, creativity blossom and I m confident that many governments, institution and businesses will take this opportunity to re-evaluate own businesses and perhaps, readjust and disrupt the current business models. I hope that we will see the consumer pressure continuing on delivering sustainable solutions for the future.  

Being a CEO of big global company, what's your view on future production and trade? Some people predict that global supply chain will severely be impacted as well as the world economy due to corona pandemic?

Well, I do think that many companies will re-evaluate their business models; they will make sure that they have more built-in resilience to be able to supply their customers. This might mean that more regional approach compare to having very complicated global supply chains. Digitalization, robotization and automation will also impact any manufacturing or industry as a whole. This means also that production for instance that has been traditionally outsourced to Asia might also come back to Europe again because we are more efficient from automation perspective. I hope, we will not move in more protectionist kind of world but we will keep the benefit of open trade and globalized world.

Post COVID, what you think will be the most important lesson learnt?

I think that we have the ability as a species to quickly adapt both our business and they way we work. This is our strength as human kind facing issues and problems. I hope that we use this momentum, this agility that we have proven and also take on global climate crisis. 

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