Text Sepi Roshan
Photos Tero Takalo-Eskola

Throughout their partnership, Valmet and Sammet have shared similar approaches to quality and environmental sustainability. Mr Ismo Hirvonen, Project Manager - Pulp and Energy Business Line at Valmet, discusses the importance of committed partnerships and how they can keep the promise of creating a sustainable future.

Mr Ismo Hirvonen, Project Manager - Pulp and Energy Business Line at Valmet.

Rooted within Finnish history and lifestyle, is a deep-seated love of nature. Finland houses 188,000 lakes and approximately 75% of its land is covered in forest. It is therefore not surprising that Finns have a desire to protect and live in harmony with the environment. The Finns are wise – they know that sustainability is key to meeting our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

Valmet is a global leader in its field and a company founded in Finland. Naturally, environmental sustainability is serious business to them. Mr Ismo Hirvonen, Project Manager - Pulp and Energy Business Line is passionately committed to actively promoting Valmet’s sustainability credentials and the sustainable solutions designed to assist customers reduce their environmental impacts. “Our technology and services arm our customers with green capabilities. We create technologies and services that enhance renewable raw materials, and support water and energy efficiency. We are experts in providing solutions that convert biomass into renewable energy and recycling products such as pulp, paper, board and tissue”, enthuses Hirvonen. Valmet believes that technology plays a significant role in curbing and adapting to climate change, which is vital for our future.


Sustainable partnerships

Valmet’s strategy places considerable effort into strengthening sustainable business, enhancing the circular economy and promoting environmentally-friendly practices. Its comprehensive approach to sustainability contains clearly defined action plans, detailed targets and specific KPIs. One of Valmet’s critical focus areas is creating and maintaining a sustainable supply chain.

Reducing collective environmental impact requires a team effort. Hirvonen says that to demonstrate sustainability in all areas of Valmet’ business, they engage only with partners who share similar values and are equally committed to environmental sustainability. This is why Valmet is drawn to Sammet’s approach to business and environmental issues. Sammet’s production capability in Europe and China is especially important for meeting Valmet’s own needs and the needs of their customers. “Having manufacturing capability in different parts of the world cuts transportation time by up to 8 weeks. This drives business efficiency and reduces costs. Manufacturing locally is also energy efficient and environmentally sound because it minimises transportation emissions”, explains Hirvonen.

To fulfil their promises, Valmet’s Quality Assurance team prepares various plans and instructions for all phases of project execution. Hirvonen is clear that their mandate is to always meet internal and external requirements, whether that be quality edicts, best practice or regulatory requirements. “We have a lot of collective experience we call on to ensure product quality and correct functioning”, says Hirvonen.


Reliable as clockwork

Hirvonen works with customers from all parts of the world on a range of land-based and sea-based projects. “The most important aspect of my job is to synchronise working styles and patterns to ensure customers take their businesses forward. I am always looking for new ways of working, improving communication and speeding up delivery times. I like to ensure everything is synchronised and runs like clockwork”, explains Hirvonen.

Supporting customers minimise downtime and maximise productivity poses the biggest challenge and opportunity for Valmet, and is why Hirvonen focuses on reliable partners. According to Hirvonen, Valmet’s long-standing partnership with Sammet centres around cost effectiveness, their high quality products and services, and consistently punctual delivery. “It is a question of risk management for us”, states Hirvonen. “Projects usually allow very little time for repairs. Any corrective work needs to be precise, effective and fast”. Sammet’s after sale service becomes particularly useful and beneficial if any remedial action is required. “It is vital for us to have access to Sammet’s after sale service to ensure all projects are successful”, says Hirvonen.

“Working with Sammet is very carefree. Their way of working and focus on high quality has always saved us quite a lot of time and effort - and grey hair”, he says with a smile. Hirvonen quickly adds, “Sammet always delivers what they promise”.

To keep his promise of a sustainable future, Hirvonen continually seeks new ways of waste recycling at his home. He drives a multi-fuel car and avoids air travel as much a possible. As a Finn, he relaxes by enjoying a life outdoors and knows that improving environmental health means a better quality of life. He proves that at work and at home, finding sustainable solutions is a promise we can all keep.


About Valmet

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. Valmet’s vision is to become the global champion in serving its customers. Their more than 13,000 professionals around the world work close to their customers and are committed to moving their customers’ performance forward – every day.

Valmet’s services cover everything from maintenance outsourcing to mill and plant improvements and spare parts. The strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bio-energy production. Valmet’s advanced automation solutions range from single measurements to mill wide turnkey automation projects.