2010

Markku Koivisto, Director of UPM ProFi was awarded Cleantech Scandinavia Hall of Fame nomination during the Cleantech Venture Day in Lahti, Finland, on November 4th. He joins two people that are already in the Hall of Fame, Lassi Noponen and Alf Björseth. They have both received this peace of art from raku-artist Dan Leonette who resides in Gotland, Sweden.

The theme of this year’s Cleantech Venture Day is “cleantech goes mainstream”. This will of course not happen by itself, but needs the help of driven individuals in big industrial companies who see business opportunities where others may see threats, or simply costs. We are very happy to give this award to someone who is one of these, often unsung heroes who initiate and change things in their respective companies.

Markku saw tonnes of clean plastic and paper being buried in landfills or burned. Since he hated the idea of buying an expensive raw material and throwing it away he instead turned this into a business area producing good looking and long lasting wood plastic composite, a valuable material very similar to hardwood.

During a tough time, when his company has cut personnel with 5,000 people, he has grown this unit from nothing into 60 people, two production sites, a rapidly increasing turnover and is looking at further rapid growth with sales now covering all of Europe and initial sales also happening in Asia. This business unit is now the fastest growing unit of a parent company UPM, one of the world’s leading forest products groups.

The official motivation is: For changing the way a big company does business by turning waste and CO2 emissions into a business opportunity. The rapid growth of the UPM ProFi business unit shows by example that a cleantech business area inside a company can achieve superior results even in hard times. Markku Koivisto, director of UPM ProFi Business Area has given the Nordic industry an inspiring success case of how a wastestream goes mainstream.
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