UPM-Kymmene Oyj history, profile and corporate video
UPM-Kymmene Oyj engages in the provision of forestry services and the manufacture of paper products. Its principal activities are manufacturing paper and converting materials and wood products. The company operates its business through seven segments: Energy, Pulp, Forest and Timber, Paper, Label, Plywood and Other Operates. The Energy segment includes UPM’s hydropower plants and shares in energy companies. The Pulp segment includes the company’s pulp mills. The Forest and Timber segment engages in the forests, wood procurement, and sawmills. The Paper segment engages in the paper mills, producing magazine papers, newsprint, fine papers, and specialty papers. The Label segment engages in the label stock factories and slitting and distribution terminals. The Plywood segment includes plywood mills. The Other Operates segment engages in the wood plastic composite unit UPM ProFi, biofuels, development units and logistic services. It operates through three business groups: Energy and Pulp, Paper and Engineered Materials. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.“
UPM was established in autumn 1995 when Kymmene Corporation and Repola Ltd and its subsidiary United Paper Mills Ltd announced their merger. The new company, UPM-Kymmene, officially started its operations on 1 May 1996.
UPM has a long tradition in the Finnish forest industry. The group’s first mechanical pulp mill, paper mills and sawmills started operations in the early 1870s. Pulp production began in the 1880s and paper converting in the 1920s with plywood production starting the following decade.
The present group comprises some 100 production facilities, which were originally functioning as independent companies. Among others, the following companies have been merged into the group: Kymi, United Paper Mills, Kaukas, Kajaani, Schauman, Rosenlew, Raf. Haarla and Rauma-Repola’s forest industry operations.
The oldest of UPM’s mills, Papeteries de Docelles, is located in northeastern France. The mill was already making quality handmade paper at the end of the 15th century. The first paper machine for this mill was acquired in the 1830s.
The part eagle and part lion in UPM’s logo is known as a griffin. Originally, it was a mythical beast, which was a popular heraldic symbol with its head and wings of an eagle and body and tail of a lion.
The oldest griffins can be found in the fables of Assyria and Babylon, but they subsequently appeared in many different guises in e.g. Egyptian and Persian art. They made their way to Europe via ancient Greece and the English word ‘griffin’ is in fact of Greek origin (Greek gryps, Latin gryphus), from which it passed into many of the modern languages of Europe (English griffin, French griffon, German der Greif, Swedish grip).
This legendary figure became the symbol of UPM as the result of a competition. Towards the end of the 19th century, it was decided there was a need for a distinctive trademark to be introduced, most notably for trade with Russia. One of the predecessors of the present UPM Corporation, Kymmene Aktiebolag, turned to two well-known artists, Hugo Simberg and Louis Sparre, with a request for a suitable design. The illustration of a griffin drawn by Simberg was the chosen winner and purchased by the company in 1899. The image was thereafter approved for official use a couple of years later.
One very probable reason for choosing a mythological animal is the symbolic message of the griffin, an animal that transferred to a northern context, watched over the green gold inherent in the forests. Today the UPM symbol is the oldest corporate logo used continuously in Finland throughout its history. “
*Information from Forbes.com and Upm.com
**Video published on YouTube by “UPM – The Biofore Company“