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IVA’s Gold Medal 2023: Annica Bresky – innovation leader with the forest as a tool

Civil engineer Annica Bresky, supported by her personal motto "The future grows in the forest", has led the development towards making the forest industry an important part of the solution to fighting climate change and strengthening biological diversity.

Photo by Daniel Soderman on Unsplash

During her time as CEO of Stora Enso, one of the world's largest private forest owners, Annica Bresky has led the company's transformation from a traditional paper and cardboard manufacturer to a growth company for renewable materials with a conviction that everything manufactured from fossil-based materials today can be made from trees tomorrow. Annica Bresky has operated through an innovation-driven corporate culture and has become known for a leadership that is value-driven, inclusive and goal-oriented with a strong focus on the safety of its employees.

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“We must work very quickly at a fast pace to ensure that future generations have good living conditions. The forest industry is a solution to many of the challenges we face with replacing less environmentally friendly materials with renewable ones. It gives a strong belief in the future regarding how innovations can help accelerate a journey towards a more climate-friendly society.”

Jury citation for IVA’s Gold Medal

Civil engineer Annica Bresky is awarded IVA's Gold Medal for her forward-looking leadership in industries in change. Not least in the forest industry, where she has contributed with a tireless focus on implementing processes that strengthen the strategies. She is a leader who takes advantage of cultural differences, innovation, new business models and has the power to lead the necessary transformation processes.

About Annica Bresky

Annica Bresky was born in 1975 and grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece and in Älmhult. She has a civil engineering degree and an MBA from Uppsala University and speaks five languages. During her studies Annica Bresky did her degree project at Stora Enso, and after graduating in 2000 she worked at Stora Enso Kvarnsvedens Bruk first as a development engineer and then as a production manager. In 2010, Annica Bresky was recruited to Billerud Korsnäs as mill manager, and then became managing director of Iggesund Paperboard AB within the Holmen group in 2013. In 2017, Annica Bresky returned to Stora Enso as head of the Consumer Board and was active as president and CEO from 2019 to September 2023. 

Annica Bresky was named Star of the Year by Dagens Industri in 2020 and has been appointed by TAPPI/PIMA as the 2023 Executive of the Year.

Annica Bresky is a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) since 2018.

IVA's Gold Medal

For more than a century, IVA has celebrated excellence in technology, economics, business and society by awarding Gold Medals to people who, through their outstanding achievements, have helped to create a better society.

IVA's Gold Medal is awarded for meritorious work within the academy's field of activity.

More on IVA's Gold Medals
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