Our BCorp Journey: Three go to Sweden

As a B Corp, it matters to us that our practices put people and the planet, as well as profit for purpose, at the forefront of what we do. We also know that many issues around environmental best practices stem from the supply chain.  

To ensure we could have complete confidence in how we produce our Lifestyle gift cards, Motivates Inc. Ltd and the team from Green Gift Cards had the honour of visiting the manufacturers of the paperboard used to make the millions of Lifestyle Gift Cards we produce each year, the Holmen Iggesund Paperboard mill in Iggesund, Sweden, on the edge of the Baltic Sea, at the end of last year. 

The mill – which manufactures packaging for Apple amongst many other leading global brands, was impressive in size, but we were even more thrilled to see it met and exceeded all the criteria for ethical and sustainable production of paperboard.  

How can we be sure?  

As well as visiting every fascinating corner of the site and having the privilege of getting immersed behind the scenes, research into the emissions impact from an early study carried out by CarbonQuota revealed that the CO2 footprint of a Motivates Inc.Ltd card is less than that of a banana! * 

Iggesund is part of the forest industry group Holmen which owns more than a staggering 1.3 million hectares of forest in Sweden.   


Because the business has both wood and water in vast quantities, there are significantly reduced miles travelled for the wood in the paperboard production process. Using local water for hydroelectric power and biofuel energy makes for a clean, lean process where absolutely nothing is wasted.  

Mature pine and spruce trees in the Iggesund forest are nurtured from seeds in orchards before being transferred to a sapling nursery. They grow for at least 80 – 100 years, acting as a carbon sink. When harvested (usually at the end of their natural life when they have stopped being able to process carbon), the trees are used for building material, furniture and flooring. Any offcuts or remaining wood waste goes into the process of becoming paperboard, which is durable, premium-quality, and 100% recyclable.  

As well as this – any waste products are returned to the manufacturing process.  

Caption: Andy Ling, Mark Boyce and Alex Barseghian from Lifestyle Gift Cards, part of Motivates Inc.Ltd, joined Graham Lycett, founder of Green Gift Cards, to investigate the paperboard-creation process.   

Going to Sweden ourselves and gaining a superior understanding of the processes surrounding the creation of our 100% compostable gift cards was an important step to take on our BCorp journey – Andy Ling, our Director of Retail Partnerships, said of his time in Sweden: ‘We remain in absolute awe of Holmen Iggesund, their team, the factory and the incredible, sustainable process that goes into producing Invercote paperboard that’s used globally in packaging, as well as to manufacture our very own Gift Cards. It was a true honour to receive an invite to get behind the scenes and understand the process and science behind Invercote – the learnings have been invaluable. There are such exciting times ahead, and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of change and innovation in our industry. 

It is undoubtedly an admirable, inspiring and game-changing way of working, and we are confident we have examined the supply chain to ensure it meets the highest possible environmental standards available today, which means you can be confident that choosing Motivates products and Lifestyle Gift Cards represents a step forward in meeting your own CSR goals.  

Contact our team today to learn more about Lifestyle’s greener gift cards.  

*source ‘How bad are bananas’ by Mike Berners-Lee, second edition