Story | 10/19/2022 09:35:49 | 4 min Read time

Setting the Standard: Ville Laitinen future-proofs UPM Timber's sustainability and investments

Senior Manager Ville Laitinen, together with a team of UPM Timber employees, zeroes in on sustainability and investment. To identify future trends in the timber business, a pioneer has nowhere to look but forward. This is what makes Ville's work interesting and challenging.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your role at UPM Timber?

I'm Ville Laitinen and I work as Senior Manager, Sustainability and Investments. True to my title, I focus on UPM Timber's sustainability and investments.

What does your typical working day consist of?

My days consist of meetings, factory visits, various cooperation forums, and meeting with equipment suppliers and stakeholders.

As a large company, UPM Timber is constantly met with varying demands and expectations. The sustainability field is changing and moving forward at a rapid pace. To meet this challenge, we are continuously improving our sustainability. We want to lead the way and set a positive example in the sawmill industry. Promoting these things and helping to conceive and shape the company's future through various projects and working groups takes up a large part of my work time.

The other big area of work for me in is UPM Timber's investments. The equipment needs to be both modernised and maintained, and often this involves investments. UPM has clear and goal-oriented guidelines for the preparation and implementation of investments, yet the actual investing measures still require work. I work with mills in the preparation and application phase of investments and design the longer-term investment roadmap.

At UPM Timber, we have to figure out for ourselves what the next big thing is in the sustainability field.

What are you most proud of in your own work?

I am proud of how quickly we have been able to build a solid and convincing position as a responsible pioneer in the sawmill business. Things have been done correctly at the mills for a long time, and the people working there deserve credit for that. Now this good work will be put to good use in a visible way.

And what is the most demanding part of your job?

Being pioneers in our field, there are no easy and obvious things that we can just copy from others. At UPM Timber, we have to figure out for ourselves what the next big thing is in the sustainability field. The same innovative mindset and long-term thinking is also required when planning investments, because investing only in market solutions will not differentiate us from others.

How is your handprint reflected in UPM Timber products?

The most clearly visible thing in a finished sawn timber package is the new timber wrapping. Currently, 30% of the raw material for the wrapping is recycled. In the future, we will increase this share significantly.

In addition, we launched a joint campaign with the Finnish environmental service group Lassila & Tikanoja for the closed loop recycling of sawn timber wrappings, which aims to increase recycling and support the domestic industry. In general, I think and hope that my work helps the people working in the factories to do their jobs more easily and responsibly, which again will contribute to better end products. Finally, my role is to highlight our successes to set the course for the whole sawmill business to move forward and improve.

What does our new customer promise, Setting the Standard, mean to you?

It means that we will work constantly and diligently to persist at the forefront of our industry. We look further ahead, seek new solutions and improve what we do, which is why we are the best choice for our customers and the people who work for us. When these things are in place, we can deliver on our promises.


In the Setting the Standard series, we feature UPM Timber employees from a variety of job profiles, both at the headquarters and on the production lines. All our employees are committed to our customer promise Setting the Standard to continuously strive for better results. In the series, staff members share their own work and how they raise the bar every day.


Text: Anu Ritvanen


Read more about our customer promise Setting the Standard

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