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Outokumpu and technology ​provider Valmet work together to create sustainable value for customers.​​




Creating value in a sustainable manner is not the responsibility of a single company. When evaluating economic, societal and environmental impacts, businesses must look beyond their own operations and foster transparency and responsibility throughout the entire value chain – from raw materials to the end of product lifecycles.

For Valmet, a developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries, environmental, social and economic values go hand in hand, and managing a more transparent supply chain is a necessity driven by stakeholder demand.

“Valmet is a customer-focused and forward looking company with sustainability as a success factor,” says Susanna Salmenpää, Communications Manager at Valmet. “Many of our customers and stakeholders put high importance on responsibility issues and take an active interest also in our supply chain management. They want to be assured that materials are procured in an ethical and environmentally sound manner.” ​


Many of our customers and stakeholders put high importance on responsibility issues and take an active interest also in our supply chain management. They want to be assured that materials are procured in an ethical and environmentally sound manner.
Susanna Salmenpää
Communications Manager at Valmet

With 9,000 suppliers in 50 countries, this not exactly an easy feat. Valmet cooperates closely with suppliers who share the company’s and its clients’ interest in a transparent value chain. One such partner is stainless steel supplier Outokumpu.

Here are four key aspects through which cooperation between Outokumpu and Valmet creates more value for end customers:

1. Full traceability reduces r​isks​

To help customers, such as Valmet, account for the impact of stainless components, Outokumpu provides environmental and ethical profiles for its products transparently. “Our goal is to make it easy for customers like Valmet to track the responsibility of our sourcing,” says Camilla Kaplin, Outokumpu´s Senior Manager in Environmental Matters. “Our product statements and declarations are based on tracked data and we update them continually.”

This means Outokumpu knows the exact origin of virgin alloys. Conflict minerals are excluded and the materials are procured in a responsible manner. For recycled content, strict controls are in place to ensure quality.

Stainless steel is a common ingredient in many Valmet technologies, e.g. in the wet end of paper machines where corrosion-resistant material is required.

“For us, Outokumpu is a good example in terms of traceability,” says Laura Puustjärvi, Head of Sustainability at Valmet. “We appreciate the work Outokumpu does in creating transparency in the supply chain because it helps us to assess and manage the impacts of our value chain.” In addition, Valmet customers can receive the necessary data to recycle stainless steel at the end of the equipment’s lifecycle. 

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​2. Optimal material qualities create durab​​le products

Valmet and Outokumpu cooperate closely to ensure highly optimized product design and efficient use of the right stainless grades in Valmet’s technologies. Put simply, Outokumpu experts help Valmet buy less and buy better, resulting in durable products with decades-long use-lives.

“Stainless is used especially in the components that need to endure demanding conditions. It is in our interest to have the exact right material for parts that require corrosion resistance,” Puustjärvi says.

Optimizing steel use also enhances environmental performance, material efficiency and cost management throughout the product’s entire lifecycle.​

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​​3. Recycling reduces carbon footpri​​nt

At the end of a product’s lifecycle, another sustainability benefit of stainless comes into play. As stainless steel is fully recyclable, the carbon footprint of the entire value chain can be reduced by reusing the material.

“Stainless steel retains its value beyond the technology’s lifecycle,” explains Kaplin.

In fact, stainless steel is the most recycled material in the world, and Outokumpu steel has the highest proportion of recycled content in the industry: 87 % compared to an industry average of 60 %.

“Increasing the recycled content is the single most efficient way to reduce the environmental impact resulting from the production process of stainless steel. The high recycling content, in turn, helps customers like Valmet – and their customers – reduce their carbon footprint and save the earth’s resources,” explains Kaplin.

“The high recycling content helps customers like Valmet – and their customers – reduce their carbon footprint and save the earth’s resources.” Camilla Kaplin, Outokumpu´s Senior Manager in Environmental Matters

Puustjärvi agrees and adds that recyclability also has a cost benefit for Valmet’s customers because of the worldwide market for recycled stainless: “When a machine or its part produced by Valmet has come to the end of its life time, the stainless steel used in them can be easily recycled since Valmet has a traceability system to document all the materials used in its machines. This means that our customers can sell the material onwards instead of disposing of it as waste.”

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​​4. Building value for sustai​nable businesses​

Ultimately, the significance of a sustainable supply chain comes from creating value for customers who have embraced similar business values.

”It’s not only about mitigating sustainability risks. We and many of our clients in the paper, pulp and energy industries see sustainability as a strategic business opportunity,” Puustjärvi says. “This is also the core of Valmet’s mission: converting renewable resources into sustainable results.”

To reach this ambitious goal, cooperating with like-minded suppliers such as Outokumpu is a real win-win situation.

“From Valmet’s point of view, the cooperation with Outokumpu has been beneficial, and brings synergies for both companies,” Puustjärvi says.​​​​​​​​

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