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Ari Borg
Ari Borg
Global Fluff Business and Strategic Projects Director

Interview with Ari Borg

Sustainability is at the core of each of Suzano’s business

Guided by the purpose of renewing life inspired by trees, Suzano is the world’s largest producer of market pulp. The company’s history spans nearly a century, and it is a reference in the innovation and production of renewable, bio-based materials from eucalyptus trees for consumer and industrial use. In an interview with TechnicalTextile.Net Global Fluff Business and Strategic Projects Director Ari Borg talks about Eucafluff, the world’s first eucalyptus fluff designed for disposable absorbent products.

TT: How do you envision the future of sustainability in the hygiene products industry, and what role does innovation play in it?

With a growing global population and improved living standards, there is an urgent and ever-increasing need for sustainable products worldwide and particularly in absorbent hygiene products.
Integrating sustainability and innovation is the key to driving this industry-wide transformation to align with evolving consumer trends. This drive is exemplified by our creation: Eucafluff, a renewable-source raw material with a smaller carbon footprint.

TT: How do you think consumers’ attitudes towards sustainable products have changed over the years, and how does this affect your strategic decisions?

Consumers now expect that their products are sustainably sourced. They hold the companies they buy from to account and are willing to change their buying habits to align with their values. This is especially evident in developed markets, but we are also seeing this trend globally.
As a company that works closely with nature, Suzano has long been committed to working with the environment rather than against it and improving our sustainability processes at every stage of our tree planting and manufacturing processes. We are pleased that we are aligned with consumers creating products like Eucafluff and others such as textiles, BlueCup, GreenBag and Loop, as well as creating wood-based fibre together with Spinnova, an innovative Finnish materials technology company. They have the potential to stimulate the development of a lower-carbon economy, which is instrumental to combat the climate crisis and reduce pressure on natural resources.

TT: Can you provide insights on how the pandemic affected the hygiene products industry and how you navigated through these changes?

Companies worldwide are increasingly looking to enhance the utilisation of raw materials, such as Eucafluff, to fulfil their sustainability objectives. This trend was already underway before the pandemic but has gained further momentum as companies concentrated more on addressing the climate and economic challenges impacting society.

TT: Could you explain how the idea of Eucafluff came about and the innovation process that led to its creation?

Around 2007, we sought alternative projects to replace print and writing products as digital platforms emerged. Given the shift from paper, we pondered the potential of producing fluff. Initially, experts believed substituting eucalyptus pulp for hardwood pulp in hygiene products was impossible – same situation happened in the 1960s, when Suzano proved to the world that paper production from eucalyptus had become possible.
While early R&D investigations appeared discouraging, we realised we could draw from our past success of how we originally introduced eucalyptus pulp in the market, blending softwood with hardwood pulp. This untried method within AHP absorbent cores presented an opportunity. We decided to incrementally increase the hardwood fluff ratio as we gained insights into its application. Starting with 10 per cent substitution of long fibre fluff with eucalyptus fibres in sanitary pads, we progressed to 30 per cent, 50 per cent, and now, in products like bed pads, pet pads, baby pants, and sanitary napkins, we can utilise 100 per cent eucalyptus fluff pulp.

TT: Why did Suzano choose eucalyptus as the primary resource for making Eucafluff?

During the 1950s, Suzano was a pioneer in adopting eucalyptus fibre for paper production technology. Overcoming industry scepticism, we demonstrated the feasibility of producing remarkably high-quality paper pulp from eucalyptus, with higher efficiency and lower costs. This innovation revolutionised the entire industry. Today, eucalyptus pulp is the predominant variety in the market, steadily gaining relevance due to the limitations of softwood fibre sources.
Prior to the development of Eucafluff, Suzano was the leading eucalyptus pulp producer in the world, so making a fluff from eucalyptus was the natural choice for us.

TT: What are the unique characteristics of eucalyptus fluff pulp that make it ideal for absorbent hygiene products?

Eucafluff-based absorbent panels offer end consumers a heightened level of comfort, discretion, and flexibility. This is because of the distinctive morphology of Suzano’s eucalyptus hardwood, which is smaller, thinner, and highly compressible. These core panels also outperform in terms of liquid retention, providing dryer skin to consumers. Also, by creating thinner absorbent cores, we help the industry to reduce packaging material consumption and logistic costs.

TT: Could you share about the land use benefits that eucalyptus fluff pulp provides compared to other types of pulp?

Eucafluff’s land use footprint is 82 per cent less when compared to American pine fluff. Suzano’s eucalyptus farms are more efficient than a pine farm from Southeastern US, with 328 cubic metres of wood being produced in a single hectare against pine’s 236 cubic metres.
It also takes seven years to grow a harvestable eucalyptus tree in Brazil versus 27 years for a pine tree in the Southeastern US. As a consequence, eucalyptus has almost four planting cycles in Brazil during one pine planting cycle.
With the high technology implemented at Suzano’s eucalyptus plantations and a greater focus on sustainability in all production and logistics stages, today, we can produce more fluff in less time, consuming fewer natural resources and reducing the environmental impact along the entire production chain.

TT: Suzano is known for its commitment to sustainability. How does Eucafluff align with this commitment?

Sustainability is at the core of each of Suzano’s business. Eucalyptus is a renewable, wood-based product which offers an alternative input to fossil-based products with an overall smaller carbon footprint.
Guided by our vision of shaping the future, Suzano has expanded its role across the value chain and society at large to promote significant changes in production and consumption habits, contributing to the establishment of the regenerative economy. These commitments guide our efforts when developing new products as well and are aligned to one of our long-term goals: offer 10 million tons of products of renewable origin to replace plastic and other petroleum-based products by 2030.
Eucafluff was developed with the purpose of providing a more efficient and sustainable solution across the value chain. We are the first link in a long supply chain, and we know that our customers are increasingly committed to taking responsibility for their product’s sustainability impacts. The Eucafluff life cycle assessment demonstrates that our product delivers favourable results in several environmental impact categories, with lower greenhouse gas emissions, lower consumption of water and fossil fuels, and requiring less land use for its production.

Interviewer:  Shilpi Panjabi
Published on: 08/09/2023

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of


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