Paper Company UPM Cuts Electricity and Heat Use

by | Mar 1, 2011

UPM has cut its electricity and heat consumption by about nine percent per paper ton in the past two years, the €8.9 billion timber, paper and energy company announced.

The Finnish company gained €55 million from its energy savings and reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by seven percent.

As part of UPM’s energy efficiency efforts, staff made proposals for efficiency investments and innovations, and shared best practices throughout the company. During the two-year program, UPM spent 9 million euro on developing 140 of the staff’s ideas.

“We achieved significant improvement with relatively minor measures,” paper business group director Markku Taavitsainen said.

Most of the energy used in paper-making is consumed in the manufacturing of mechanical pulp, pumping, vacuum systems and the drying of the products, UPM said. The company generates all the heat and one third of the electricity it needs for paper-making from combined heat and power plants operating on its paper mill sites.

Biomass-based fuels such as bark and forest residues make up 80 percent of fuels used by UPM in Finland and 68 percent worldwide.

UPM is the second largest biomass-based electricity generator in Europe, and the company says that 77 percent of its power generation is CO2 emission-free.

“UPM aims to continuous improvement of the energy efficiency in all its businesses. Our long-term target is to achieve the best carbon footprint in the industry by improving our energy efficiency and increasing the use of carbon neutral and bio-based energy,” Taavitsainen said.

In other paper news, Asia Pulp & Paper has announced it is moving towards 100 percent alignment with the Indonesian government’s Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) certification by the end of 2020. Currently, about 52 percent of the area managed by APP’s pulpwood suppliers has been certified by SFM.

And the Paradigm Group has launched a line of “tree free” paper products made with bagasse, or sugar cane pulp. The company’s Emerald brand of disposable products for business includes 70 percent tree-free bath tissue, facial tissue and napkins, and 100 percent tree-free plates. Paradigm says the products are less expensive than traditional tree-based paper products.

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