Building and maintaining good relations with local communities close to our operations and supporting the vitality of these communities are essential for us and for our business success. Currently there are four very different projects ongoing in Finland, Poland and China.
UPM was externally recognised for its sustainable water management in November. CDP's Water Program identifies annually companies that understand that the sustainable management of water is a business imperative and take actions to improve their water security.
UPM's response was benchmarked against companies in our sector with a score A-, which is a leadership position in CDP's ranking. According to CDP, UPM has implemented a range of best practice actions to manage water and mitigate water risk, both in its own operations and beyond them.
Committed to revive the ecological state of the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea Action Group is an independent non-profit foundation, based in Finland and doing valuable work towards reviving the ecological state of the entire Baltic Sea. Sustainable nutrient management and cycling are in the core of BSAG’s operations.
BSAG connects important players to gain the highest possible benefits for the Baltic Sea. The organisations make commitments and public promises of concrete improvements within their own operational environment that enhance the state the Baltic Sea.
UPM has already made its third commitment to BSAG: we will reduce the overall nutrient loading in watercourses near its mills. By the year 2030 we will use only recycled nutrients at our biological wastewater treatment plants. We aim to find recycled nutrients from local sources, thus reducing local eutrophication in the best case and also promoting circular economy.
The success of Rauma mill’s overall nutrient loading reduction has inspired UPM to seek for new sources of recycled nutrients in the vicinity of its paper and pulp mills. The nutrient needs for each waste water treatment plant and possible local sources have already been assessed.
Restoration of rivers in Poland
UPM Raflatac cooperates with WWF Poland in the 'Rivers for Life' project. The project embraces efforts directed towards the conservation and restoration of natural river ecosystems in Poland. The co-operation started in 2012.
The activities in the project focus on monitoring work carried out on Polish rivers. The project also promotes modern methods of flood prevention through the restoration of natural floodplains. Other aims include making the rivers passable for fish in order to re-establish migration corridors to spawning areas, and assessing the status of the preservation of river beds.
In Finland, UPM supports a school project called "Local waters". The project is led by the Finnish Rotary organisation and it aims to improve grammar and encourage secondary school students to become more interested in natural sciences — particularly natural science related to water—by exploring the natural waters in the vicinity of the schools. Originally launched in schools in the city of Rauma, the project is expanding to other UPM pulp and paper mill locations in Finland as of 2016.
Schools involved in the project will receive equipment needed for water studies. Pupils will solve water-related tasks using information from various school subjects, and the findings are transmitted digitally to teachers via smartphones.
In China, UPM is involved in a “My Heaven My Water Article Competition”. The writing competition increases awareness of water protection and strengthens water education among primary, middle and high school students, as well as the general public in Suzhou. This is the first cooperation project between UPM and Suzhou Water Resources Bureau. In addition to responsible water use, the focus areas are of UPM’s Biofore Share and Care programme are Reading & learning, engaging with communities and boosting bioinnovations.