Sweden as seen from ‘Niedziela’

Lidia Dudkiewicz

Last week ‘Niedziela’ devoted three columns to Sweden. Among other things we published an interview with a Polish priest who had lived in Sweden for many years. Now we are trying to explain the connections between Sweden and ‘Niedziela’.
Sweden is a wealthy country whose richness was built on its own natural resources, on the achievements of eminent inventors, headed by Alfred Nobel, as well as the creativity of other scientists and local engineers. According to the World Economic Forum, the Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008, the Swedish economy is in the third position in the world.

The beauty of Sweden

Sweden belongs to the most interesting European countries as far as its landform features are concerned. The distance between its northern peninsula, just beyond the Arctic Circle, and its southern one is the length of almost half Europe. One can see unique phenomena there, e.g. the midnight sun and midday night. In winter it is dark for 24 hours and in the middle of summer the sun never sets. One can also see the famous white nights. During the night you can expose your face to plenty of sun and read without any lamp. Slightly towards the south, in the region of Norrland, there is an unimaginable expanse of forest. The town of Sundsvall, with the population of about 100,000, is located there. The town has not been known to us recently but as it turned out it has become very important to our weekly. In Sundsvall, a modern paper mill, running at full steam, produces paper for ‘Niedziela’.

Our ‘Niedziela’ is ‘growing’ there

On our pages we have already discovered Sweden as a fairly tale-like country, which each of us could visit in his childish dreams, following the stories of the children from Bullerbyn. The editors of ‘Niedziela’ had the opportunity to visit numerous places in Sweden and to see the place where our weekly ‘grows.’ It is not a verbal error; actually ‘Niedziela’ grows in Sweden, which is rich in wood. Towards the end of the 19th century the owners of the forests in Sudsvall who traded wood made great fortunes. Even Polish woodcutters went to work in those forests. Currently, wood and paper industry is one of the fundamental branches of the Swedish economy. Sweden is one of the biggest exporters of pulp. The Swedish wood-paper industry belongs to the best in the world from the point of view of the quality of products and their ecological profile. Thanks to modern and balanced investments, which have been well planned and oriented towards environmental protection, as well as to top quality wood from the local forests, Sweden has belonged to the leading wood producers for years. We should mention especially the companies: Stora Enso, SCA and Holmen. It is in the north of Sweden that the forests, embracing the area of 2.6 million hectares (two thirds of Holland’s territory) and belonging to SCA Forest Products, are located. Wood from these forests is used to paper production, including the newsprint for our weekly. The newsprint for ‘Niedziela’ requires spruce wood, which is taken from old, at least one hundred-year-old trees, i.e. older than our weekly.

SCA in nutshell

SCA is an international company, producing personal care products, packs, graphic paper and solid-wood products. The shares of the concern are quoted on the Stockholm, London and New York Stock Exchange. The SCA factories are located in over 40 countries and employ ca. 51,000 workers. In almost 90 countries people know the SCA brand names: Tork, Zewa, Velvet, Edet (SCA Tissue Europe); Libero, Libresse, TENA (SCA Personal Care) as well as packaging from SCA Packaging, graphic paper and solid-wood products of SCA Forest Products, which possess three paper mills producing total 1.8 million tons a year. The paper mills belonging to SCA Forest Products are in Sweden (Sundsvall), in Great Britain (Aylesford) and in Austria (Laakirchen). The firm has a pulp factory in Östrand, the forest holdings of SCA Skog (the biggest deliverer of bio-fuels produced from forests in Europe); SCA Timber sawmills located near forests; research and development centre – SCA R&D as well as logistics company – SCA Transforest.

They focus on ecology

Sweden belongs to the avand-garde in the field of ecology and many Swedish firms connected with environmental protection are active in other countries, offering training courses and other services. The Swedes are proud of the exceptional care they give to the natural environment. Annually they use almost one million tons of recycled paper, which is one of the best results in Europe. The whole society contributes to that. Most households segregate their wastes, i.e. they separate metal, glass, paper and organic waste.
Swedish firms show that they are responsible for environment by trying to limit their emission of harmful substances and by investing in proper security measures. The Swedes love nature and fresh air. That’s why, they have preserved wild areas in Europe.

Ecological paper mill

SCA applies all these ecological measures. During a meeting with the executive board in Sundsvall we asked Mr Rolf Johannesson, the Vice-President Sales and Marketing in SCA Forest Products AB, and Mr Jan Knuts, the Product Area Manager responsible for selling of LWC paper, about their ecological sensitivity. They both became clearly excited. We learnt that ecology was the key issue for them. They presented their paper mill as an ecological firm. Every production phase, from getting the raw material to the delivery to the buyer is under complete control. The quality requirements are more restrictive than the ones imposed by the auditors of the ecological organisations. Every tree they cut is replaced by at least three little trees grown in their own nurseries from the highest quality samplings. SCA does not use any chemicals and materials containing chlorine. The clean water of the rivers in the neighbourhood of the SCA paper mills is a very good and healthy environment for fish and other organisms. The production fulfils norms ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The concern fulfils the EMS standards of managing the energy and FSC and its products comply with the requirements of the Nordic ecological etiquette Swan. The forests, which have belonged to SCA since 1999, have the Forest Stewardship Council Certification (FSC). To get this certificate one must provide proper documentation of the sources of origin of the raw materials used in production. The law to mark FSC belongs to the editor who proves to collaborate with a printing house that possesses FSC certification and uses certified paper. To deliver paper with the FSC certificate the paper mill must prove that their materials come from the sources supervised by the FSC. The SCA forests are managed in accordance with the FSC standards and undergo regular control of independent auditors of this organisation.

Perspectives of SCA development

Tadeusz Misko, the director of SCA Graphic Paper Polska, i.e. sales office in Warsaw, tell us about the secret of success and the future of the concern, ‘In order to meet the market requirements we are constantly modernising our machine park, optimalising technological processes and training our employees. Great responsibility is laid on our research and development centre (R&D Centre). We believe that our success is due to the ability to create new values for our customers. Guided by respect for our partners and collaborators, by responsibility in taking decisions, positive attitude as well as joy and honesty in daily work we trust that our vision included in our motto ‘Let’s succeed together!’ will be fulfilled.

In the beginning there was a forest

It occurs that many Swedish products of international fame have their roots in the forest. This Scandinavian country produces huge amounts of various kinds of highest quality paper.
And certainly that is the reason why we can say that the Swedes who have plenty of paper are a society that lives in friendship with the media. For many ages they have liked reading. They seriously invest in men of letters, education and libraries. 75% of families buy newspapers although recently the main source of information has become the radio, television and Internet. Sweden has the biggest number of users of computers and the Internet. And it is in Sweden that a weekly, having the biggest circulation in the world, is published. We can reach a conclusion: the Swedes do not only have paper but also can use it properly so that they, as society, can develop intellectually and be friends with the media every day. During our conversations with the Swedes we called the phenomenon ‘philosophy of paper’ and ‘philosophy of forest’.

The author wants to thank Mr Tadeusz Misko, Director of SCA Graphic Paper and his officers in Warsaw for their help in gathering the material concerning SCA and the photos.


The trunk of a spruce tree is cut to proper lengths, in winter it is heated so that the ice melts, and then the logs are debarked. We have wood chips. The bark is used as bio-fuel in steam boilers.


Wood chips are delivered to pulp mills to be used in the production of thermo-mechanical pulp. The mixture that goes to the paper machine consists of 1 % of fibres and 99% of water, which is pressed in thick strainers. In this process the fibres are joined to form a paper web. In the press section water is removed and the product goes through the cylinders, heated by steam, where drying takes place. This is the way the newsprint is produced.
In turn the LWC paper is further processed; it is coated with a mixture of kaolin and chalk, dried with hot air and smoothed by calendaring cylinders.

The whole process is fully automatised and the optical parameters of paper are controlled and the slightest mistakes are eliminated. In the paper mill of SCA Graphic Sundsvall AB in Sweden there are four paper machines: two produce newsprint and other two – LWC paper.


The machine produces the so-called jumbo-reel, which is cut to the ordered size, packed and stored.


The SCA paper is delivered by land or sea and land to the SCA terminals in Lübeck, Rotterdam or Tilbury near London, and from there it is transported to the buyers. The terminal in Lübeck serves the Polish market. The ships from Sundsvall reach Lübeck twice a week, every Thursday and Sunday (after 3-4 day sea journey). The paper is unloaded and within 24-48 hours reaches printers in Poland.

"Niedziela" 51/2007

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl