Production-related CO2 emissions are our biggest contributor in reducing our overall carbon footprint. Our clear reduction path is built on modern power generation, environmentally sound power purchasing and innovative energy management solutions.
We also aim to continuously lower the carbon footprint of our products and supply chain activities to support our customers in their own reduction targets. To bring us closer to a carbon-optimised portfolio, we have established a Gold Standard certified carbon offsetting service to compensate for the remaining CO2 footprint generated by our paper products.
Clear targets, focused investments and measurable reductions
UPM is committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 65% by 2030. UPM Communication Papers invests in sustainable power and heat generation projects, as well as strategic partnerships that will reduce CO2 emissions of 600,000 tonnes in total. This is equivalent to 11% of UPM’s total emissions (2020)
- A long-term wind power purchase agreement. The wind power generators will be installed in Finland and are scheduled to operate for 25–30 years, generating approximately 4 TWh over the term of the contract. We are considering further sustainable power purchase agreements in Europe.
- Highly efficient power generation at its paper mills. For example, a natural gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant is currently under construction at our Nordland mill as well as a new biomass-fired plant that provides steam for our Hürth paper mill. Both projects are planned to go on grid in 2022.
- The ramping up and system integration of renewable energy generation in Germany. The current grid power mix has comparably high CO2 intensity in Germany. UPM is partnering with grid operators and utilities companies to develop innovative energy management solutions at its German mills — contributing to an optimised level of CO2 emissions in the German power system.
Carbon-neutral paper and support for families
Our customers are also taking action and are pursuing structured approaches to reducing their own footprints. This is why we are aiming to reduce the carbon profiles of our products. We have added carbon-neutral paper to our portfolio to support our customers’ immediate ambitions to reduce carbon emissions in their supply chains.
On its own, carbon offsetting is obviously not enough to mitigate climate change. Carbon offsetting is most advantageous when used to complement parallel efforts to prevent and reduce carbon emissions. Not all carbon offsetting is equally effective, and every emissions reduction project has to successfully undergo close scrutiny.
We have selected projects in Asia and Africa that help local families, where improved, low-emissions technology is used to replace traditional cooking stoves with fuel-saving stoves or bio-gas. Equally, the projects help families switch from firewood-based water sanitation to ceramic filters. These projects lead to a net reduction of carbon emissions, comply with the highest certification standards and improve the livelihoods of the families and communities they are impacting.
All projects carry the “Gold Standard for the Global Goals” certification for carbon offsetting projects, which guarantees high-quality carbon credits and a verified, measurable environmental and social impact. Regular monitoring, third-party verification and maximum transparency ensures the projects’ overall integrity. These climate protection projects are offered under the trademarks UPM CO2ACT for any paper grade in our range, as well as New Future Multi Neutral for office papers.
Text: Timo Nykänen