The first benchmarking & networking trip "ZERO WASTE" took place in Kotka

On February 4-5, 2020 the project had organized the first benchmarking trip to review the best green/sustainable practices and solutions in Kotka-Hamina region of Finland.


The topic for business mission arouse out in connection with development of two counteracting trends. Despite the fact, that consumers became more conscious about amount of packaging waste they create, they are not ready to change dramatically their lifestyle and, for instance, stop take coffee away or order food. As a consequence demand for eco-friendly packaging increased.

The main goal of the benchmarking mission was to introduce participants to the best practices of sustainable solutions - eco-packaging production from Kotka. The trip provided representatives of St.Petersburg companies wide range of networking opportunities with local authorities, industrial partners and SMEs, including visits to production facilties of eco-friendly packaging producers, establish contacts, discuss opportunities for joint development projects and find best solutions in waste reduction field. 

Heads of manufacturing companies and distributors of eco-friendly packaging, representatives of food sector, media and business support infrastructure took part this trip.

Program of the trip started with benchmarking event in X-Lab coworking space. In the framework of the event delegation from St.Petersburg met representatives of Finnish eco-friendly packaging manufacturers and employees of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK).

On the next day, delegation visited Kotkamills plant. The company produces 3 lines of products, which supplement each other. For example, sawdust and shave generated from processing of wood are used in the production of paper. Among the clients of Kotkamills are such large chains as McDonalds, Starbucks and other. Delegation also visited Pyroll Group branch office in Kotka – company, engaged in production of packaging, production and supplying of carton and paper all over Europe as well as Colombier company, manufacturer of paper products which uses unique coating technology – BioBarrier. Company’s production has already won international recognition becoming the winner of NextGen Cup Challenge. Visit to Package Media Company providing services on digital packaging creation completed the business-mission.

As a part of the visit, the round table “ZERO WASTE” was held. During the round table participants discussed key tendencies in development of eco-friendly production. Erno Syvälahti – Sales director from Sulapac company (producer of straws), Hannu Hartikäinen – CEO of Cucksa company, David Rolser – Technical sales manager from Kotka Mills and Sabine Suorsa – Project manager from South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK) took part in this discussion.

Trip was organized by Administration of Kotka city and regional development company for Kotka-Hamina, Cursor Oy an St. Petersburg Foundation for SME Development with the support of TWIN CAMPUS project (funded by the European Union, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland in the framework of South-East Finland-Russia CBC 2014-2020 programme).