Environmental targets show direction

Gabriele Wende
Gabriele Wende
Manager, Environmental Intelligence, UPM
18 September 2013

In 2010, UPM set quantitative long-term environmental targets on the Group level and defined indicators to measure performance in the key areas of environmental responsibility. The targets are based on the year 2008 and shall be reached until 2020.  An overview about the target achievement in 2012 has already been published in UPM’s Annual Report at UPM’s webpage and recently also in the Environmental Statement of UPM’s pulp and paper mills.

For most of the key indicators, we are on a quite good way to achieve the 2020 targets. But how do we know?

How is UPM following up on the 2020 target achievement?

UPM’s Environmental Intelligence team is responsible for following the development of the key indicators on annual basis. Parameters like CO2, wastewater volume or waste to landfills are directly reported from the production units to a common database. Other information like the certified fibre share is based on the Chain-of-Custody calculations or like the share of eco-labelled products taken from the sales system. In the beginning of the year, our team is gathering and cross-checking the figures. Our aim is to ensure the reliability of the data, so that the data is correct for the assurance audit for the Annual Report which has been carried out by PricewaterhouseCooper.

A few parameters can be followed-up more often, like figures for COD (chemical oxygen demand) which are reported on monthly basis by the pulp and paper mills. Looking at the first half of 2013, the COD per tonne of paper remained stable and COD per tonne of chemical pulp reduced by 7% compared to 2012. That means that the combined Group target for COD for 2013 will most likely be achieved.

How often are the targets reviewed?

There is no general rule if and how to review targets. But to keep them challenging and also reasonable for future years, they are usually re-considered on a regular basis. For example, when looking at 2012 data in the beginning of the year 2013, three key indicators developed in such a good way that the targets for these indicators had already been reached in 2012 instead of 2020. Thus a proposal was drafted by our team, and then presented and thoroughly discussed in the environmental management team, with the business groups and finally at the Group Executive Team. As a result,

UPM’s 2020 targets for the certified fibre share, the COD load in wastewater and the landfill waste have been tightened.

And how are targets taken into account in daily operations?

Environmental target setting is not a new topic at UPM. It already has a long history at production sites and business functions via the annual strategy rounds and also via the continuous improvement process which is part of the environmental management systems. The targets of the production sites reflect UPM’s long-term targets at a local level, when applicable. In addition to the long-term 2020 targets, UPM’s Clean Run campaign aims to significantly improve the current level of our environmental performance.

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