The forest industry giant Stora Enso is begining co-determination negotiations with plans to shut down its Kvarnsveden paper and pulp factory in Borlänge, Sweden. The factory employs 440 people. Stora Enso is one of the largest employers in the Dalarna region. Therefore, the effects of the plant closure on the regional economy are expected to be significant.
Stora Enso has deemed the factory to be unprofitable due to the global decline of printed media. The CEO pointed out that there is currently an overproduction of paper in Europe. The popularity of printed media has faced a further decline during the COVID-19 pandemic due to changes in consumer habits.
The Swedish Paper Workers’ Union is hoping that the co-determination negotiations will result in parts of the factory's operations to be saved. The union calls for Stora Enso and the regional government to seek out other economic opportunities to fill in the employment gap that the closure of the factory would cause for the region. Stora Enso has pledged to work closely with the region, their other factories and additional stakeholders to ensure the re-employment and further training of the affected employees.
Stora Enso is a Finnish-based multinational company with sales of €8.6 billion in 2020 and around 23, 000 employees worldwide. In Sweden, Stora Enso employs 1, 250 people.
The company’s operations in Sweden have undergone heavy restructuring during the recent years. The Kvarnsveden factory is the second factory in Sweden that Stora Enso has shut down within a year, following the closure of the Hylte Mill in 2020. In addition to the Kvarnsveden factory, Stora Enso also plans to close the Veitsiluoto factory in Finland.