UPM has developed many energy efficient production technology and logistics innovations in recent years.
Steyrermühl improves production process
Improvements in production processes help UPM’s Steyrermühl mill in Austria save EUR 1.1 million a year. The mill has 14 projects in the works aimed at improving material efficiency.
UPM’s goal is to achieve a 15% decrease in the quantity of waste water by 2020, and a 20% decrease in the consumption of chemical oxygen in pulp and paper production, compared to the level in 2008.
UPM Raflatac reorganises operations
UPM Raflatac runs modern self-adhesive laminate factories and a broad distribution network composed of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals.
A well-functioning organisation has enabled the company to reorganise its operations and improve its efficiency in 2013, without affecting product selection, services or customer deliveries.
UPM Energy renovates hydropower plants
UPM is the owner or co-owner of four hydropower plants operating on the Kokemäenjoki River in Finland. Improvement in cooperation between the owners has boosted the production of all the power plants.
UPM has recently carried out systematic renovations of its hydropower plants. The renovations increase the power plants’ generation capacity and improve their efficiency, regulation and environmental safety.
Investing in resource efficiency
UPM carefully follows all environmental regulations, and has, in fact, established much stricter internal regulations than those required nationally. The improvement of environmental performance is included in the Group’s investment programme. The goal is to promote efficient and responsible use of energy, water and raw materials. In 2013, the company’s environmental investments totalled EUR 29 million
The UPM Biorefining business area covers the production of pulp, renewable diesel, sawn timber and energy. It is able to efficiently utilise UPM’s common wood raw material supply chain and to refine the waste into new business that creates added value. Pulp mills’ recovery boilers produce renewable energy and electricity from biomass. Production processes also generate residues, such as crude tall oil, that will be used as raw material in the production of the renewable UPM BioVerno at the biorefinery currently being commissioned at Lappeenranta.
Versatile energy sources
UPM is constantly reducing its carbon footprint and enhancing the energy efficiency of its activities. This is possible thanks to the versatile energy sources and zero-emissions energy technology used by the company. Of the fuel consumed by UPM, the share of biomass-based fuel is 84% in Finland and 67% globally.
Local procurement brings benefits
UPM is the world’s largest user of waste paper in graphic paper production. Recycling of paper requires an efficient local recycling infrastructure and national recycling schemes. By concentrating on procurement from local companies operating near production facilities, UPM can optimise its waste paper value chain. This reduces costs and the environmental impacts of transport.
UPM treats some of the procured waste paper at its own sorting facilities, located near UPM’s Shotton mill in the UK, Steyrermühl mill in Austria and Chapelle Darblay mill in France.
Use of waste as a material
UPM’s production facilities maximise reuse of materials and minimise waste generated in production.
Of the solid waste produced by UPM, the majority is ash created during bioenergy production. A fairly large amount of all waste is utilised as filling material in earthworks. Presently, around 90% of UPM’s production waste is reused or recycled.
Waste can also be reused in the production of new products. One example of this is the second generation biodiesel UPM BioVerno made from crude tall oil, a residue of pulp production. UPM ProFi wood plastic composite products are made from paper and plastic that form a manufacturing surplus from self-adhesive label stock production.
Clean run promotes awareness
Since 2011, UPM’s pulp and paper mills have participated in the Clean Run campaign, which aims to improve the environmental performance of production facilities by promoting awareness of environmental issues. Last year, the campaign also expanded to other UPM business areas.
For example, at UPM’s Raflatac mill in Scarborough, UK, the objectives and principles of the Clean Run campaign are implemented by organising regular safety walks. During the walks, teams check their own responsibility area, identify the areas requiring improvement or immediate actions, and share best practice.
Responsible use of water
Production of pulp, paper and hydropower requires large amounts of water. UPM aims to minimise the impacts of its use of water on local waterways and to protect the natural circulation of water in forests. All UPM pulp and paper mills are equipped with mechanical and biological wastewater treatment plants.
Last year, UPM completed its project aiming at improving the production processes at the mills. The project also produced a second generation pulp production process where the amount of process water used per tonne of pulp is smaller than at present. UPM’s newest mill in Fray Bentos, Uruguay, is among the best in the world in terms of water consumption.
UPM aims at reducing the amount of wastewater generated by 15% in 2020 and the level of chemical oxygen demand in paper production by 20% from the 2008 level. The project has progressed so well that the target for 2020 was tightened in 2012.
Text Matti Remes