The UPM Changshu mill has invested in improving resource efficiency with very good results.
According to Pentti Putkinen, the General Manager of the UPM Changshu mill, the investments in the mill’s resource efficiency can be seen in improved results in all areas.
Putkinen is particularly proud of the improvements in water use. The amount of wastewater produced by paper machine 1 has been reduced from 10 cubic metres to 5 cubic metres per tonne of paper produced.
Paper machine 2 used to produce 20 cubic metres of wastewater, but now only produces 5–6 cubic metres per tonne of paper produced.
“Our water consumption is now world class,” Putkinen says.
Less raw material, steam and electricity
A lot of attention has also been paid to the efficient use of pulp, the main raw material, and fine-tuning the production processes.
“The consumption of steam and electricity needed in production has also improved by tens of percents.”
The UPM Changshu mill is the first mill to be awarded the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) registration in China. According to Putkinen, certification increases the transparency and credibility of environmental reporting.
“Receiving the EMAS registration didn not have a major effect on our operations in Changshu, since our reporting has met the requirements of the EMAS standards for several years.”
Clear goals assures action
Putkinen believes that the most important aspects of resource efficiency are having a systematic approach, clear goals and monitoring performance.
“There is no need to take giant leaps at a time. Everything boils down to constant improvement that is based on process optimisation and learning. New investments can also improve resource efficiency.”
According to Putkinen, employee commitment plays an important role.
“Our employees understand that figures are not everything and that resource efficiency and environmental awareness are important to our customers, our business and each individual.”
The good reputation of UPM Changshu is well known in China and local environmental authorities often visit the mill.
“Our customers are also increasingly interested in environmental matters.”
Text Matti Remes