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The Paper Bottle


Global leadership through sustainable innovation

How to position a brand through sustainable innovation in competition with an entire world that has the same ambition.


There is a delicate line between green washing and true green innovation. Many actors claim sustainable innovation, but significantly fewer can actually put concrete action behind their words. BillerudKorsnäs, a leading player in packaging solutions, belongs to the latter. But that matters little if the outside world is not made aware of the work beeing done. Without promising too much and setting the bar too high, BillerudKorsnäs wanted to gradually lighten the veil of two pioneering world innovations – the world’s first 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable paper bottle for carbonated beverages and the world’s first battery completely made of paper.


The idea was to tell the outside world about two collaborative projects between some of the world’s leading players in technology and barriers, ultimately with the potential to replace or reduce the use of plastic, glass and metal liquid packaging and to produce smart electrified packaging in a sustainable way. At the same time, both projects were still in their infancy with several years left before commercial launch.

The aim was to emphasize BillerudKorsnäs’ leading position in packaging technology development, to invite the outside world to follow the development work and at the same time inform the outside world that new types of sustainable innovations will eventually be able to replace both plastic and traditional batteries.


By carefully documenting the development work in text, image and film and publishing this on dedicated websites, a platform was created to start from. Partly for media relations and marketing and partly for proactive and reactive input and output through various channels, partners and events. To meet the expected onslaught of questions, BillerudKorsnäs also provided spokespersons with messages that in some parts also were used as a basis for creating a current questions and answer section on each website. All material is continuously beeing updated as the projects progress and is also communicated to the outside world in the form of press releases, interviews and social media messages.

The Paper Bottle

The world’s first 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable paper bottle for carbonated beverages.

The Paper Bottle is an innovation project where BillerudKorsnäs collaborates with some of the world’s leading players in barriers, design and technology. United in shaping the future of packaging by creating the world’s first 100 percent recyclable and  biodegradable paper bottle for carbonated beverages. Read more at BillerudKorsnäs.

The Paper Battery

The paper battery is a key piece of the puzzle for the long term development of smart packaging.

Soon it will be possible to store energy in a paper battery. With new techniques, it is possible for sensors to measure the key elements of packaged goods such as temperature, pressure, light and others. BillerudKorsnäs and Uppsala University have worked together to develop such an energy source. Together they have taken basic research based on pure cellulose from algae and developed it to work with the same type of fibre that usually is beeing used to manufacture paper and packaging. Read more at BillerudKorsnäs.


The paper bottle in particular, but also the paper battery, has generated a great deal of interest among both journalists and the industry, as well as politicians, decision-makers and the outside world at large. Both projects have greatly contributed to strengthening and consolidating the image of BillerudKorsnäs as a leading player in packaging innovation. The paper bottle has also generated a great deal of interest among some of the world’s largest brands to participate in the project, while important business relationships have both been developed and deepened. For employing branding, the projects have also meant a leadership for BillerudKorsnäs as a preferred employer among engineering and technology students.

Lessons learned

» A product or service does not have to be market-ready before you start communicating about it. On the contrary, the outside world finds it very interesting to be able to follow a project from the start.

» For innovation projects under development, it is important to prepare and constantly update their messages, both internally and externally.

» Collaboration projects require that great importance is attached to a common communicative agenda and that synchronization between the parties is constantly taking place.

» Be careful to use the term ”sustainable” and be prepared to support claims with facts.

» Innovation is an investment that costs both time and money. Clarify this in financial contexts.

» Global communication requires different methodsin different regions. Using the same approach everywhere is ineffective.


A special recognition must be given to the teams at BillerudKorsnäs pulp research, the brand agency Grow, the Danish innovation company ecoXpac, the brewery group Carlsberg and Uppsala University without whose dedication and hard work the paper bottle and paper battery could never have become a reality.

Verything Communications AB

+46 (0)70 931 40 50