UPM is a major energy producer. Most of the electrical and thermal energy is used for mechanical pulp and paper production. We favour the use of renewable and other fossil CO2-free energy sources as well as of natural gas and we strive to improve our energy efficiency. Biomass-based fuels make up 69% (2016) of total fuel usage.
UPM strives to continuously improve its energy efficiency across all its operations. During the last 20 years, the energy efficiency of production has significantly improved due to energy audits, innovations and internal campaigns.
Pulp and paper mills, which use electrical and thermal energy in their production processes, represent the majority of UPM's total energy consumption. Most of the energy is consumed in the manufacturing of mechanical pulp, pumping, vacuum systems and paper drying. The electricity consumption per tonne of paper has decreased by 17% over the last ten years.
At all pulp and almost all paper mills, steam and electricity are generated simultaneously by combined heat and power (CHP) plants. At some mills, all or part of the energy is produced by external power plant companies.
UPM has carried out regular energy audits at the mills since 1997. The auditing process focuses on improving the energy balance of the mill, focusing on the use of electricity, heat and process water in particular. When the audit is complete, the audit team presents a list of potential energy saving suggestions. They also calculate the energy saving potential and produce a rough classification on possible investment needs. Often, the saving ideas can be achieved without major investment.
When one mill succeeds in a specific area, other mills can learn from it and benchmark good practices.
In 2004, the EU directive for CO2 emissions trading came into force in the EU. All European mills belonging to UPM have the relevant permit as granted by national authorities for the 2013–2020 period.
Fossil carbon-free energy sources dominate UPM’s energy portfolio. The production capacity includes hydropower, nuclear power and efficient combined heat and power (CHP) production using mainly biomass at the mill sites. Biomass-based fuels account for 69% (2016) of the fuels used by UPM. We are the second-largest generator of biomass-based electricity in Europe.
UPM has four pulp mills that produce pulp from pine, spruce and birch in Finland and from eucalyptus in Uruguay. The mills also use the same wood to produce a significant amount of bioenergy.
The construction of the UK’s largest solar park at Shotwick, Cheshire, adjacent to the UPM Shotton site, has brought yet another opportunity for UPM to deliver on its 2030 renewable energy target to reduce fossil CO2 emissions by 30%.