Sustainable businesses will be tomorrow’s winners
The companies in our portfolio are active within different industries and regions, which naturally creates a wide variety of unique opportunities and challenges. The sustainability work carried out in some of our companies is described here.
As a Swedish paper manufacturer, Lessebo Paper has undertaken to develop high-performance, environmentally responsible paper for the international market. In 2021, Lessebo Paper published an environmental statement reporting record low CO2 emissions. The report proved that the company’s strong focus on sustainable production had been successful as carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 79% since 2013. On average, a producer of similar products in Europe emits 616 kg of CO2 per tonne of finished paper. In comparison, Lessebo Paper’s production dis- charges only 19 kg of CO2 per tonne of finished paper, including emissions from pulp production. In other words, products from Lessebo Paper generate only a fraction of the carbon dioxide emissions compared to those from an average paper mill with a similar product mix.
To consolidate Lessebo Paper’s strong environmental profile, the company launched the Climate Compass in 2020, a guide that dives into detail about everything regarding the environ- ment and paper. Green initiatives that Lessebo Paper is working on are highlighted, for example the use of waste energy from production to heat the houses in the community of Lessebo via the local district heating network. The Climate Compass is a unique publication that invites customers to participate in the sustainable paper discussion.
PEFC™ is a standard that guarantees that a product or service will be produced or provided according to specific quality requirements. Forests certified by PEFC™ comply with the specific requirements of the Forest Europe process. The Federation of Swedish Farmers and the Federation of Family Forest Owners are behind PEFC™ in Sweden.
FSC® is an independent, international member or- ganisation that promotes environmentally sound and socially responsible use of the world’s forests. Its certification supports endangered animals
and plants, the future capacity of the land to carry forests, safe and sound working conditions for those working in the forest and the rights of indigenous peoples.
Green bonds can be verified and issued in a large and growing number of industries, including:
Energy efficient buildings and housing projects
Sustainable forestry and agriculture
Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources
JOOL and green bonds
Green and sustainable bonds are a relatively new phenomenon; the first green corporate bond was issued only about a decade ago. Since then, however, demand has grown at a furious pace as this form of financing allows investors to invest more trans- parently and in a more traceable way than previously possible. Today, more and more asset managers include sustainability criteria in their investment mandates.
Since 2018, JOOL has been a partner to the Climate Bonds Initiative, a non-profit organisation that certifies green bonds and promotes sustainable investments. Through the Climate Bonds Initiative, JOOL can more easily offer SMEs access to the green bond market, while offering investors sustainable investment opportunities with a high degree of control over how the invested capital is used.
The first green bond structured via JOOL was issued by Advanced Soltech Sweden AB, which develops and builds solar power plants on the Chinese market. The company has established a framework specifying that the capital raised is to be used for the production of solar power plants. Annual reporting requirements also make it easier for investors to monitor the use of bond proceeds and to assess the environmental benefits generated. The transaction has met strong demand in the market and over SEK 600 million has been raised to date. JOOL sees more future opportunities to offer companies sustainable financing, especially in its main segment of small and medium-sized enterprises.
ESS-ENN Timber is a timber producer from the Småland region that focusses on glued laminated wood. As with many other products, eco-thinking is an important starting point in the development of glued laminated wood products. This applies throughout the product life cycle – from the choice of raw materials all the way to the reuse or recycling decision.
The company regards it as a matter of course to be certified according to PEFC™ and FSC®’s stringent criteria for sustainable forestry. Part of our sustainability work is our use of local raw materials. The wood material used by ESS-ENN comes exclusively from Swedish forests, which makes logistics more efficient and reduces the amount of transport. Because deforestation reduces nature’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the company works actively on replanting. At least two new trees are planted for each tree harvested, which will secure the future forest stock. Young forest also captures more CO2 than old forest.
ESS-ENN also works actively to draw up an environmental declaration that will report the company’s CO2 footprint and map measures to make this more effective. A significant measure that has already been taken to reduce the environmental footprint is an investment of SEK 8 million in a biofuel boiler, which allows the company to take up waste products from its operations in order to generate efficient heat and energy for its own production.