Stora Enso trialing use of VR in safety training at Skutskar pulp mill in Sweden, packaging solutions' Lahti board mill in Finland; company says VR offers positive learning experience that makes workers aware of hazards without exposing them to real risk

Sample article from our Transformation & Innovation

August 30, 2022 (press release) –

Digitalisation can bring significant benefits in value creation and operational excellence where ensuring safe operations is also an important success factor. At Stora Enso, digitalisation is also utilized to boost safety awareness and to make every day a safe working day.

In the production environment, a risk of an accident is always present. To increase safety awareness, Stora Enso continuously looks for various ways to increase and improve the training in safety. Virtual Reality (VR) is one of the solutions enabling more pragmatic and inclusive learning.

“It is fair to say that in a classroom the learning experience can be far away from reality. It is hard to explain and understand the risks for example related to working at heights when sitting comfortably in a classroom chair,” points out Bas Vennix, Safety Director in the Packaging Solutions division.

“Making the training in a real-feeling environment without exposing people to a real risk has already an enormous benefit for learning. In addition, the virtual reality environment enables interaction and decision-making situations that are like the real-life ones,” Vennix continues.

Biomaterials Skutskär mill in Sweden trialed VR with positive learnings: “We usually train our people with the real fire extinguishers but in VR they were given different scenarios and then everyone needed to choose what kind of equipment to fight fire with. It made people think and be more aware of how to do it – and it also created good conversations afterward. I think this was a good experience,” summarises Lars Andersen, OHS Manager at Skutskär.

Another unit utilizing Virtual Reality in safety training is Packaging Solutions’ Lahti Mill. “Adding the digital solutions into our safety work enables a new and more modern approach,” says Tomi Pällo, Safety Manager at Packaging Solutions Corrugated mill in Lahti.

“Virtual Reality is a good option for making people more aware of the hazards without exposing them to the real risk. Also, this new approach provides more inspiration and something fun,” Pällo continues.

“Digitalisation can contribute to increased safety in many ways. Positive learning experiences and felt value are important factors in developing a digital culture and mindset. By leveraging all possibilities with digitalisation, we can boost our business, and at the same time make people’s lives easier – and safer,” concludes Marko Yli-Pietilä, Head of Smart Operations at Stora Enso.


More on Safety
Part of the global bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has approximately 22,000 employees and our sales in 2021 were EUR 10.2 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm AB (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY).

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