Interview with Claes Bjäreholt

Hey, who are you?

My name is Claes Bjäreholt and I’m the CEO of Smurfit Kappa in Sweden and Finland. Smurfit Kappa works with paper-based packaging, and as CEO there I’m responsible for sales, development, production and marketing. 

When someone hears about working with corrugated paper they probably instinctively think of moving boxes. We make moving boxes, but our primary field of work is within the business-to-business-sector, where we make secondary packaging for a wide range of products. Food and beverage is our largest segment.

What is secondary packaging?

For Absolut, the primary packaging of the product would be the glass bottle. The boxes that the glass bottles then are shipped in are the secondary packaging.

What is your passion?

My drive is to keep improving things. It could be in sustainability like here in Creative Space, but also in other areas. In general I think it’s very important to never stand still. 

What are your thoughts on Absolut Creative Space so far?

I think it’s a different and bold approach to the sustainability challenge. It’s when you arrange these kinds of creative events that you will get the unexpected solutions to your problems.

What are your thoughts on the future of corrugated and paper-based packaging?

I think it is the future of packaging. Therefore we work heavily at Smurfit Kappa with decreasing our ecological impact. For one we invest a lot in ensuring sustainable foresting as the trees are crucial for our business. We also work to increase the amount of paper being recycled in the world. In Sweden the amount of recycled paper today is almost 80 %, which is quite high.