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Case 16.05.2022

Wipak Oy: in the packaging business, sustainability extends from the factory to products and continuous innovation in new materials

The international packaging group Wipak takes sustainability into account in its 11 factories, material-efficient and recyclable products and the continuous innovation of new packaging materials.
  • The international Wipak Group manufactures packaging materials for the food, hospital supplies, and health care industries.
  • Wipak’s packaging is designed for meat, fish, cheese, and other food that must remain fresh until the best before date. In health care, Wipak’s packaging is used for instruments that must remain sterile for patient safety reasons, among other things.
  • Wihuri’s packaging division (Wipak in Europe and Asia, and the affiliated company Winpak in North America) has a turnover of EUR 1.22 billion.
  • The company employs 1,800 people, 600 of whom work in Finland.
  • Business Finland’s Bio and Circular Economy program promotes the internationalization of packaging companies.

    Welcome to join Bio and Circular Finland Program!

Packaging is an essential element for many products, as it protects the product from light, air, damage or other issues as necessary. In the food industry, for example, packaging contributes to sustainability by preserving food and in this way reducing food waste. However, packaging itself also has a number of sustainability elements.

The international packaging group Wipak manufactures innovative packaging materials for the food and health industry. Sustainability is an important part of the group’s operations.

“Responsibility and sustainability are primarily reflected in our products, but also in the operations of our factories: we are committed to continuously improving energy efficiency, and Wipak Oy already uses carbon-free electricity and heating. We have also started a heat recovery project. The aim is to reduce waste at all stages,” shares Tuija Suur-Hamari, managing director of Wipak.

With regard to packaging, it is important that

  1. the packaging is material-efficient, i.e., it uses resources as little as possible
  2. new raw materials, such as bio-based materials and renewable plastics, are introduced into packaging
  3. unnecessary packaging is avoided and
  4. the packaging solutions are recyclable, and the plastics are recycled after use.

Wipak’s vision is to be the world’s most responsible company manufacturing plastic packaging materials, and it promises to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2025.

Business Finland is involved in radical innovations

Along the way, Wipak has received help from Business Finland and its predecessors, Finpro and Tekes, in matters such as internationalization. In recent years, Business Finland has funded Wipak as the company has developed its business and sought out new avenues in product development.

According to Wipak’s Suur-Hamari, Business Finland is hugely important in bringing together companies operating in the same field.

“Business Finland has funded radical innovations when the risks have been high. Most recently, Wipak received EUR 2,500,000  investment aid  for circular economy from the EU's Recovery Facility through Business Finland. We have had quick solutions after joining forces with other players in the cluster. Circular economy investment aid, and the grant will be of great importance to the project", says Suur-Hamari.


 Wipak manufactures innovative packaging materials for the food and health industry.
Photo: Wipak

Ulf-Erik Widd

The success of packaging companies creates jobs in Finland

Finnish packaging companies are also international pioneers in developing solutions. The industry is an important export sector for Finland, and Business Finland is involved in the development of future solutions for Finnish packaging companies.

“When these Finnish companies develop cutting-edge technologies and create international business ecosystems, jobs will be created in Finland. This shows in how we create prosperity and well-being in Finland by accelerating the sustainable growth of companies,” says Business Finland’s account lead Ulf-Erik Widd.