Li Na

Shared values strengthen cooperation

​Li Na, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Sun Paper company, says that Metsä Fibre’s strong brand reputation, core values and product quality form the basis of a solid partnership.

6/18 TEXT: HE QIANYUE, IMAGES: PASI SALMINEN JA KAUPPALEHTI/PEKKA KARHUNEN

​Sustainable development was the main theme of the Key Customer Event hosted this April by Metsä Fibre, and also one of the pulp giant’s basic strategic concepts. 

“Building sustainable development and being a respected global leader are strategic visions of Sun Paper as well,” says Li Na, Vice Chairman of Sun Paper.

Li Na’s father, Li Hongxin, is the founder of Sun Paper, a leading paper company in China and one of the biggest clients of Metsä Fibre. Li Na was among the dozens of guests invited by Metsä Fibre to visit its state-of-the-art bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Central Finland.

When arriving in Helsinki after a ten-hour flight, Li Na was straight away greeted with a feeling of efficiency: “Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is more convenient than most of the airports I have visited. The attitude is pragmatic and creates a good customer experience. In a way, it is Finnish business in miniature. Metsä Fibre has given me the same impression during our lengthy cooperation."

Headquartered in Ji’ning City, in the Shandong Province of China, Sun Paper was founded in the early 1980s. The company started from scratch, employing only some 30 people in the beginning. The decade ushered in the era of reform and openness, and Sun Paper decisively seized the opportunity to attract foreign investment and set up four joint ventures in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong. The strategic move secured the funds needed for further development.

Subsequently, the group expanded rapidly through mergers and acquisitions and gradually gained a firm foothold in the market. In 2006, Sun Paper went public in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and began to set its sights on the overseas market. Sun Paper had a subsidiary in Laos in 2010, and later on, a bio-refinery project in the US in Arkansas. Thirty years after its establishment, Sun Paper has grown into a leading company in the competitive Chinese market, with a production capacity of 7.5 million tonnes of pulp and paper.

Since the turn of the century, the company has shown more persistence and a stronger commitment to the concept of sustainable development. Sun Paper's wastewater COD outflow quality has reached 30 mg/L or less, and a zero emission level has been guaranteed in all chemical pulp wastewater, furthering the balanced development of economic, environmental and social benefits.

"Metsä Fibre and Sun Paper have operated side by side for more than a decade, and the initial procurement relationship has evolved into a long-term strategic partnership. In fact, Metsä Fibre has witnessed the growth of Sun Paper all along."

Sun paperSHARED VALUES YIELD EXCELLENCE

The quality of products depends to some extent on what values the producer has.

“For the sake of the credibility of our brand and the quality of our products, our main criteria when choosing suppliers are the stability of their brand reputation, their core values and product quality. Therefore, Sun Paper and Metsä Fibre are well-positioned to maintain a good cooperation. We both regard sustainable development as a long-term strategic goal and share the common ambition of building ourselves into green, intelligent and ecological enterprises.”

During Metsä Fibre’s customer event, Li Na was introduced to the company’s sustainable forest management system and the bioproduct mill in Äänekoski. Like many of her peers, Li Na was deeply impressed by the ecological protection of forests, the digitisation of operational processes and the traceability of wood raw material. Although Sun Paper has been using Metsä Fibre’s products, this was the first time that Li Na witnessed the entire production with her own eyes. She believes that the forest management system and bioproduct mill serve as examples of a methodology and concrete practices related to the concept of sustainable development.

“The bioproduct mill is highly developed, not only reducing costs and increasing efficiency, but also guaranteeing the stable quality of pulp products, which all buyers are mainly concerned about," Li Na points out.

As part of its sustainable forest management system, Metsä Fibre’s entire logging process is transparent and the origin of all harvested wood is traceable. The process can be viewed anytime, anywhere via a mobile phone application, and harvesting and timber selection are also highly automated.

“This improves the stability of quality compared to manual operations, and is something that we need to learn,” Li Na says, adding that Sun Paper is currently investigating how to integrate artificial intelligence with the paper making process, and may be testing “smart feeding” in the near future.

Li Na points out that quality products are made from quality pulp: “This product, for example, is from our additive-free tissue series. The series has been made of pulp produced in the mill that we visited today,” Li Na says, handing out a Sun Elements branded handkerchief tissue from her pocket. The package states that no dry strength agents, wet strength agents, softeners or fluorescent brightenershave been added to the product, and displays all the major environmental certifications.

Metsä Fibre’s pulp is used in almost all of Sun Paper’s products, including various products for office use, such as printing and writing paper, coated paper, folding boxboard and household paper. Li Na sees that the cooperation between the two companies has enhanced the competitiveness of Sun Paper and increased the awareness of Metsä Fibre in the Chinese market.

Sun paper

MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL COOPERATION

Envisioning the situation in the next few years, Li Na says that Sun Paper will continue to upgrade its facilities, optimise the formula of raw materials, and improve its processing technologies. In her view, the ties between Sun Paper and Metsä Fibre should be strengthened even further to allow the companies to complement each other’s strengths. 

"Metsä has a history of over one hundred years, and Sun Paper has existed for more than 30 years. We are a relatively young company, with many things worth learning," Li Na says.

The year 2018 marks the first year of the 19th National Congress of China and the 40th anniversary of China's economic reform. Li Na believes that China's paper market will soon revise its philosophy, and the industry will shift its focus from high-speed to high-quality. The competitive scene will be such that small companies that do not pay sufficient attention to environmental protection and sustainable development will be phased out. 

“Sun Paper’s core concept of environmental protection and sustainable development will make us a beneficiary of the stricter environmental protection policies.” 

A more stringent Chinese import policy on waste paper has led to a shortage of raw materials, and the situation is expected to continue this year. Facing the challenge, Sun Paper will adopt a “4-3-3” strategy, meaning that 40% of the future profit will come from traditional paper, 30% from bioproducts and 30% from fast-moving consumer goods. “In addition, we will increasingly step up the internationalisation of the company, integrate the businesses of pulp and paper, and secure the supply of raw materials,“ Li Na adds.

Sun Paper will not proceed with this plan without the backing of its major supplier Metsä Fibre, whose persistence in quality production and technology optimisation will be of great importance to Chinese clients. Li Na maintained that a friendly customer experience is a key asset of Metsä Fibre.

“This Customer Experience Day event is a good example. The itinerary is very well planned,” Li Na says, adding that Metsä Fibre has performed uniquely well with regards to offering tailor-made services: “Becoming an indispensable partner for customers will surely improve their loyalty to Metsä Fibre." 

Related articles

  • Maria Laamanen talks about plastic

    Issue 2/2018/ Voice

    A trendy tote bag heralds the twilight of the plastic era

    ​Let me begin with a confession. I feel slightly ashamed to walk around downtown Helsinki with a plastic carrier bag nowadays, and if my shopping is small enough, then I fold up the bag and hide it under my arm. Plastic carrier bags have become rather embarrassing.

    Read More
  • Brian McClay discusses the potential of pulp

    Issue 2/2018/ Markets

    Pulp potential

    ​China continues to drive the global pulp business, an industry offering huge opportunities with regards to sustainability, says Brian McClay.

    Read More
  • Sustainable pulp production as cornerstone of circular economy

    Issue 2/2018/ Sustainability

    A strong circular economy needs efficient and sustainable production

    ​Delivering increasingly efficient and sustainable production processes represents an important driver of Metsä Fibre’s operations. Implementing these advanced pulp production technologies offers essential benefits to both circular economy and bioeconomy ecosystems. Metsä Fibre’s state-of-the-art Äänekoski bioproduct mill represents a textbook example of efficient and sustainable production at work.

    Read More
  • Collaboration with Lappeenranta University

    Issue 2/2018/ Partners

    Dialogue for greater wisdom

    ​Collaboration with educational and research institutions is helping Metsä Fibre to gain a broader understanding of natural phenomena and future technologies, and to reach leading professionals in the field. We met up at Lappeenranta University of Technology to discuss the goals and benefits of partnership.

    Read More
  • Metsä Fibre Mill Managers presented, Rauma mill

    / Solutions

    A strong quartet

    ​We asked all of Metsä Fibre’s Mill Managers to describe the areas of expertise of their units and their own personal strengths.

    Read More
  • Kaskinen mill's rebranded BCTMP pulp portfolio launched

    / Solutions

    Two new BCTMP brands with improved properties

    ​Metsä Board’s rebranded High Yield Pulp portfolio was officially launched at the start of 2018 through Metsä Fibre’s global sales network. The project was based on extensive customer discussions and the chance to simplify the pulp offering into two well-distinguished products. Botnia High Yield BULK offers high bulk and brightness to mainly printing and writing paper grades. Botnia High Yield TENSILE provides excellent tensile strength and brightness for tissue and speciality papers.

    Read More
  • Sustainable wood supply as cornerstone of circular economy

    / Sustainability

    An efficient circular economy needs a sustainable supply chain

    ​Delivering an increasingly sustainable supply chain represents a fundamental cornerstone of Metsä Group’s forestry operations. Enhancing efficiencies, as well as implementing stricter environmental and ecological measures in sustainable forest management, have a considerable impact on how the group adds to the circular economy.

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    / Solutions

    Making paper magical

    ​Any printed item can be given a digital soul by adding touch, connectivity and data, says Dr Kate Stone.

    Read More
  • FibreOnline

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    Building 24/7 customer service – together

    ​Based on customer feedback and a user research project, Metsä Fibre has completely revamped their online services. Today, these services have become a holistic tool where customers can find everything they need and even download certifications to pass on to their customers. It’s all in one place – online – easily accessed 24/7 at the push of a button.  

    Read More
  • Paptic

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Replacing plastics

    ​Paptic is a biobased, recyclable and renewable next generation packaging material made of sustainable wood fibre. Developed by a Finnish start-up company of the same name, Paptic is suitable for uses where plastic films have previously been the only alternative.

    Read More
  • Kemi mill

    Issue 1/2018/

    Prefeasibility study launched on renewal of Kemi pulp mill

    ​Metsä Fibre has launched a prefeasibility study on the renewal of its pulp mill in Kemi, with the option of either replacing the current mill or extending its life cycle.

    Read More
  • mill

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    RFID pulp delivery tracking

    ​RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an identification technology that enables efficient and reliable real time tracking of pulp deliveries. Every pulp unit leaving a Metsä Fibre mill automatically includes RFID tags that help to ensure deliveries and minimise consignment errors.

    Read More
  • employee

    Issue 1/2018/

    Appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills

    ​New appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills announced.

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    Issue 1/2018/

    Metsä Spring plans textile fibre production

    ​Metsä Group has established a new innovation company, Metsä Spring Ltd.

    Read More
  • Ismo Nousiainen

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Pursuing excellence

    ​The business environment continually changes, and company operations must accordingly evolve to keep pace. There is always room to improve, and always an imperative to do so. Regeneration and continual improvement are no longer a choice, but a necessity and a condition for surviving in the modern era. 

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Print is dead, long live print

    ​Print is the most pervasive human interface: we write on it, read it, wear it, sit on it and even eat from it!

    Read More
  • campfire

    Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    On a journey of sustainability

    Common sustainability goals bring industry operators together for a memorable event.

    Read More
  • Song

    Issue 1/2018/ Markets

    Eastern horizons

    ​Introducing Wangqiu Song – Metsä Group’s recently recruited SVP, Asia and China – and his unique perspectives on both the Finnish and Asian pulp businesses. 

    Read More
  • Li Na

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Shared values strengthen cooperation

    ​Li Na, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Sun Paper company, says that Metsä Fibre’s strong brand reputation, core values and product quality form the basis of a solid partnership.

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    / Sustainability

    Key Customer Event showcases sustainable forest management

    ​Running through May 23-25, Metsä Fibre organised a Key Customer Event in and around Äänekoski, the site of its new bioproduct mill, inviting international clients to Central Finland.

    Read More
  • technology

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    A digital revolution

    ​Technological trends arising from digitalisation, such as IoT, artificial intelligence and data analytics, are having a major impact on society, the world of work and the business operations of Metsä Fibre.

    Read More
  • Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    New combination certificate covers all Metsä Fibre operations

    ​Metsä Fibre’s aim of continuously improving its operations is supported by certified control and management systems, related to quality, the environment, energy efficiency and safety. The systems enable, for example, tracking the origin of the wood raw material and following the logistics chain.

    Read More
  • old Äänekoski mill

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    Recycling the old Äänekoski mill

    ​The start of operations at the new Metsä Fibre bioproduct mill in Äänekoski has meant shutting down the old pulp mill, and its demolition is currently under way. This work began in June by dismantling the old wastewater treatment plant.

    Read More
  • Woman using a tablet

    Issue 2/2017/

    Customer satisfaction high at Metsä Fibre

    The annual Metsä Fibre customer satisfaction survey was completed again this summer with interviews of pulp customers in various market areas. The overall customer satisfaction rating remained almost unchanged at 8.61 on a scale from 4 to 10.

    Read More

Most popular articles

  • Ahlstrom Munksjo

    Issue 2/2017/ Partners

    The joy of segmentation

    What’s at the heart of a hundred-year success story? Two successful companies, Metsä Group and Ahlstrom-Munksjö, with deep roots and an intense passion for customer satisfaction.

    Read More
  • Winter forest

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    Boosting the bioeconomy

    CEPI Director General Sylvain Lhôte says that the forest industry has an unbeatable sustainability story to tell, but should be better in communicating its strengths.

    Read More
  • SkinCare 2.0

    Issue 2/2017/ Partners

    Innovative products from cellulose fibre: GreenDoer

    ​Based in China, Metsä Fibre’s partner company GreenDoer is a leading supplier of next-generation sustainable packaging solutions to the consumer industry. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, the company has developed innovative 3D shaping technology for producing molded fibre products.

    Read More
  • Forest

    Issue 2/2017/ Markets

    Europe's forest nation

    ​Charting the past, present and future of Finland’s uniquely productive relationship with the forest. From Metsä Fibre's perspective, the sustainable and well-organised forest management in Finland and the growing demand from Asia make the future look bright.

    Read More
  • Inauguration

    Issue 2/2017/

    Bioproduct mill inaugurated

    ​Metsä Fibre’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, was inaugurated by the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö on 18 October 2017. Hosted by President and CEO of Metsä Group Kari Jordan, guests at the event included national policy-makers, representatives from the City of Äänekoski and various partners in cooperation related to the bioproduct mill project.

    Read More
  • Bioproduct mill

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    World-class bioproduct mill

    ​Metsä Fibre’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, is the largest wood processing plant in the Northern Hemisphere, which brings prosperity to the whole of Finland. The new mill is called a bioproduct mill since it increases the product portfolio with new bioproducts, generates excess bioenergy, and operates without any fossil fuels. The pulp production capacity of the mill is 1.3 million tonnes of pulp a year.

    Read More
  • old Äänekoski mill

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    Recycling the old Äänekoski mill

    ​The start of operations at the new Metsä Fibre bioproduct mill in Äänekoski has meant shutting down the old pulp mill, and its demolition is currently under way. This work began in June by dismantling the old wastewater treatment plant.

    Read More
  • Woman using a tablet

    Issue 2/2017/

    Customer satisfaction high at Metsä Fibre

    The annual Metsä Fibre customer satisfaction survey was completed again this summer with interviews of pulp customers in various market areas. The overall customer satisfaction rating remained almost unchanged at 8.61 on a scale from 4 to 10.

    Read More
  • Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    New combination certificate covers all Metsä Fibre operations

    ​Metsä Fibre’s aim of continuously improving its operations is supported by certified control and management systems, related to quality, the environment, energy efficiency and safety. The systems enable, for example, tracking the origin of the wood raw material and following the logistics chain.

    Read More
  • Paptic

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Replacing plastics

    ​Paptic is a biobased, recyclable and renewable next generation packaging material made of sustainable wood fibre. Developed by a Finnish start-up company of the same name, Paptic is suitable for uses where plastic films have previously been the only alternative.

    Read More
  • FibreOnline

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    Building 24/7 customer service – together

    ​Based on customer feedback and a user research project, Metsä Fibre has completely revamped their online services. Today, these services have become a holistic tool where customers can find everything they need and even download certifications to pass on to their customers. It’s all in one place – online – easily accessed 24/7 at the push of a button.  

    Read More
  • Song

    Issue 1/2018/ Markets

    Eastern horizons

    ​Introducing Wangqiu Song – Metsä Group’s recently recruited SVP, Asia and China – and his unique perspectives on both the Finnish and Asian pulp businesses. 

    Read More
  • Ismo Nousiainen

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Pursuing excellence

    ​The business environment continually changes, and company operations must accordingly evolve to keep pace. There is always room to improve, and always an imperative to do so. Regeneration and continual improvement are no longer a choice, but a necessity and a condition for surviving in the modern era. 

    Read More
  • mill

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    RFID pulp delivery tracking

    ​RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an identification technology that enables efficient and reliable real time tracking of pulp deliveries. Every pulp unit leaving a Metsä Fibre mill automatically includes RFID tags that help to ensure deliveries and minimise consignment errors.

    Read More
  • technology

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    A digital revolution

    ​Technological trends arising from digitalisation, such as IoT, artificial intelligence and data analytics, are having a major impact on society, the world of work and the business operations of Metsä Fibre.

    Read More
  • campfire

    Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    On a journey of sustainability

    Common sustainability goals bring industry operators together for a memorable event.

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Print is dead, long live print

    ​Print is the most pervasive human interface: we write on it, read it, wear it, sit on it and even eat from it!

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    / Sustainability

    Key Customer Event showcases sustainable forest management

    ​Running through May 23-25, Metsä Fibre organised a Key Customer Event in and around Äänekoski, the site of its new bioproduct mill, inviting international clients to Central Finland.

    Read More
  • Li Na

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Shared values strengthen cooperation

    ​Li Na, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Sun Paper company, says that Metsä Fibre’s strong brand reputation, core values and product quality form the basis of a solid partnership.

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    Issue 1/2018/

    Metsä Spring plans textile fibre production

    ​Metsä Group has established a new innovation company, Metsä Spring Ltd.

    Read More
  • employee

    Issue 1/2018/

    Appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills

    ​New appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills announced.

    Read More
  • Kemi mill

    Issue 1/2018/

    Prefeasibility study launched on renewal of Kemi pulp mill

    ​Metsä Fibre has launched a prefeasibility study on the renewal of its pulp mill in Kemi, with the option of either replacing the current mill or extending its life cycle.

    Read More
  • Sustainable wood supply as cornerstone of circular economy

    / Sustainability

    An efficient circular economy needs a sustainable supply chain

    ​Delivering an increasingly sustainable supply chain represents a fundamental cornerstone of Metsä Group’s forestry operations. Enhancing efficiencies, as well as implementing stricter environmental and ecological measures in sustainable forest management, have a considerable impact on how the group adds to the circular economy.

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    / Solutions

    Making paper magical

    ​Any printed item can be given a digital soul by adding touch, connectivity and data, says Dr Kate Stone.

    Read More
  • Metsä Fibre Mill Managers presented, Rauma mill

    / Solutions

    A strong quartet

    ​We asked all of Metsä Fibre’s Mill Managers to describe the areas of expertise of their units and their own personal strengths.

    Read More
  • Kaskinen mill's rebranded BCTMP pulp portfolio launched

    / Solutions

    Two new BCTMP brands with improved properties

    ​Metsä Board’s rebranded High Yield Pulp portfolio was officially launched at the start of 2018 through Metsä Fibre’s global sales network. The project was based on extensive customer discussions and the chance to simplify the pulp offering into two well-distinguished products. Botnia High Yield BULK offers high bulk and brightness to mainly printing and writing paper grades. Botnia High Yield TENSILE provides excellent tensile strength and brightness for tissue and speciality papers.

    Read More
  • Collaboration with Lappeenranta University

    Issue 2/2018/ Partners

    Dialogue for greater wisdom

    ​Collaboration with educational and research institutions is helping Metsä Fibre to gain a broader understanding of natural phenomena and future technologies, and to reach leading professionals in the field. We met up at Lappeenranta University of Technology to discuss the goals and benefits of partnership.

    Read More
  • Sustainable pulp production as cornerstone of circular economy

    Issue 2/2018/ Sustainability

    A strong circular economy needs efficient and sustainable production

    ​Delivering increasingly efficient and sustainable production processes represents an important driver of Metsä Fibre’s operations. Implementing these advanced pulp production technologies offers essential benefits to both circular economy and bioeconomy ecosystems. Metsä Fibre’s state-of-the-art Äänekoski bioproduct mill represents a textbook example of efficient and sustainable production at work.

    Read More
  • Brian McClay discusses the potential of pulp

    Issue 2/2018/ Markets

    Pulp potential

    ​China continues to drive the global pulp business, an industry offering huge opportunities with regards to sustainability, says Brian McClay.

    Read More
  • Maria Laamanen talks about plastic

    Issue 2/2018/ Voice

    A trendy tote bag heralds the twilight of the plastic era

    ​Let me begin with a confession. I feel slightly ashamed to walk around downtown Helsinki with a plastic carrier bag nowadays, and if my shopping is small enough, then I fold up the bag and hide it under my arm. Plastic carrier bags have become rather embarrassing.

    Read More