The shape of the future is circular

At UPM circular economy is seen as a way to secure a sustainable future and to enable businesses and societies to succeed.

Circular economy and UPM

Circular economy addresses two of the central global challenges: climate change and scarcity of natural resources. Circular economy invites to minimise waste and to use renewable resources in a sustainable and circular way.
 
UPM’s circular economy approach crystallises into three words: More with Biofore. We reuse or recycle virtually all production waste, recycle materials and products several times, and create added value through smart solutions.

Our goal is to minimise waste and maximise reuse.
New, innovative technologies – such as industrial biotechnology, 3D printing and energy technologies – give new ways to create innovative products and solutions. We do all this to bring economic, social and environmental value to our stakeholders and the society.
 
This is exactly how UPM has operated for a long time. For us, circular economy is the cornerstone of a sustainable future.

Innovations & Product Stewardship

Innovative ecodesign boosts circular economy

Innovative technologies and design boost circular economy. Many of our new, innovative products are made of residues, sidestreams and waste. Our concept of ecodesign guarantees that environmental impacts are minimised in every stage.
Renewable fibre based products

Renewable and recyclable products

UPM’s products enhance circular economy and replace non-renewable materials with renewable materials. Our products are based on renewable wood fibre, among others sustainable paper products, timber, bioenergy, and wood-based biochemicals.
ProFi

Innovative products from residues, sidestreams and waste

Biofuels, biocomposites and other innovative products replace fossil materials. Many of UPM’s products are made of residues, sidestreams and waste, and they are based on the circular economy model.
Collaboration and partnerships

Collaboration and partnerships

UPM actively develops new solutions to speed up the transition to circular economy and sustainable use of renewable materials. But we are not doing everything on our own.

See how circular economy works at UPM

​Clever climate solutions promote circular economy

UPM creates renewable products that replace non-renewable materials with renewable materials.

Unlike fossil-based resources, the sustainable use of renewable resources adds no new carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. For example, UPM’s biofuels and bioenergy replace fossil fuels.

We ensure that our most important resource, wood, grows in sustainably managed forests. We utilise the best available techniques to ensure sustainable production. Well-managed forests play an essential role in natural carbon and water cycles, as well as preserving and enhancing biodiversity.

We aim to minimise our climate impacts throughout the product lifecycle.

UPM continuously increases the use of renewable and low emission energy to replace fossil fuels in its operations. We are also a significant producer of biomass-based electricity in Europe.

Our 2030 commitment is to create clever climate solutions and work towards carbon neutrality.

 

Biofore Channel: Circular Economy at UPM


Production waste reused or recycled


90%

Share of certified wood and fibre


84%

Share of renewable fuels


69%


​Circular economy saves water

The water we use is circulated several times in the production process. Only a small portion of this water leaves the process as effluent.

Our most water-intensive production plants are in areas where there is plenty of water available. In Finland, all fresh water we need comes from natural water courses, i.e. from lakes and rivers.

UPM aims to use only recycled nutrients in effluent treatment by 2030.

FEATURED ARTICLE
MAY 18 2017

A global move towards the circular economy

“Future developments will lead to biomass and bio-based materials becoming an essential part of the circular economy and new circular innovations,” says Joss Blériot, Executive Officer of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

​From waste to valuable innovative products

Efficient use of renewable wood is at the core of our business. It means that we reuse or recycle most of our production waste. It is utilised either as raw material or in energy production.

Wood-based residues, such as bark, sawdust and woodchips, are, for example, used for pulp and energy generation. Reusing waste or residues in innovative products is also a way to ensure the competitiveness of UPM’s business.

We have a goal of becoming a Zero Solid Waste to Landfill company globally by 2030. This means that UPM will not deposit any waste in landfill sites or incinerate waste without energy recovery. The Zero Solid Waste initiative develops smart and sustainable solutions, in which excess materials circulate and generate value.