Paperituote, current Walki, started its operations in Myllysaari paper mill building in Valkeakoski, Finland. Photos: Marja Väänänen & Walki Oy

From a packaging company to a leading producer of technical laminates

As Finland enters into its 100th year as an independent nation, the country can look back at a fascinating journey. Finland’s history is closely tied to several companies’ evolutions. Walki is one of them.

Today Walki is a leading producer of technical laminates and protective packaging materials, specializing in the production of fibre-based, intelligent, multi-laminate products. The markets range from energy saving construction facings and construction membranes to barrier packaging applications.

The company founder, Rudolf Walden, was instrumental not only for Walki’s history but also when it came to creating and shaping the independent nation. He founded the Paperituote paper plant in the Finnish town of Valkeakoski in 1931.

 From packaging to producer of intelligent multi-laminates

”We still need to live in accordance with nature”, says CEO Leif Frilund.

Walki has since gone from being one of the first packaging companies in Finland into a diverse materials company present in all markets crucial to today’s way of life. The Group has plants in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Russia and China with a workforce of about 900 people.

Looking beyond country borders has always been important to the company. ”Walki was very early on internationalizing the company. We opened our first plant abroad in Steinfurt, Germany, in 1979,” says the company’s current CEO Leif Frilund.

 Sustainability part of the Walki history

The paper and forestry industry has been instrumental in putting Finland on the world map. But as globalization and digitalization has changed the game, a lot of companies have had to change tack. Finland’s fondness of technology has come in handy. Today Walki is more of a technology company than anything else with innovative products for the construction, packaging and still also the paper and board industries.

One thing that hasn’t change for neither Finland nor Walki is the respect for nature. In Walki’s early days it was about converting wood fibers into packaging materials.

Walki has been a pioneer in the internationalization.”

”The Finns have always turned to the forest for food and shelter. This has laid the foundation for a deep respect for nature”, says Frilund. Today sustainability and resource efficiency can be discerned in every aspect of the company. ”We still need to live in accordance with nature”, he says.

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