​​​​Cha​llenging ourselves

We already reuse or recycle most of our production waste, and we are constantly striving to develop innovative new solutions. We are proud to the world’s top reuser of recovered paper in the production of our graphic papers.


We are committed to maximising reuse and minimising waste.

Nearly all our organic production residues including bark and wood residues, as well as fibre-containing solids from de-inking and effluent treatment are used in energy generation at our mill sites. Today, 90% of our production waste is reused or recycled.

Landfilling of solid waste is the waste management practice with the most significant environmentall impact. The environmental impact of UPM landfill sites is monitored for compliance with permits and regulations issued by the local environmental authorities.

Wherever possible, we avoid landfilling. We use wood-based waste such as bark, fibre residues and fibre sludge as fuel at our mill power plants. Fibrous residues that are not incinerated are reused, for example they can be composted or used in soil construction. UPM reuses about 90% of the residues from recovered paper processing, including fibres, fillers and printing inks used as fuel in the mills’ combined heat and power plants.


Yesterday's waste is today's raw material   

Ash residues from bioenergy production form the most significant proportion of UPM’s solid waste. Today, 94% of the ash is used in applications such as earthwork operations, the cement and brick industry, or as a fertilizer. We analyse ash composition thoroughly before it is reused. The remainder is taken to landfill sites.

A good example of our out-of-the-box thinking is our fly ash innovation, ELURIT, which can be used during the pulping and bleaching stages of the papermaking process. Another example is Cinerit, a fly ash-based construction product derived from the thermal recovery of waste materials.

Two other innovative products reusing waste or residuals from our production process are the UPM ProFi wood plastic composite products and UPM BioVerno renewable diesel. UPM ProFi wood plastic composite products are made from the surplus paper and plastic left over from the production of self-adhesive label materials.

World's top user of recovered paper

UPM consumes 2.5 million tonnes (2018) of recovered paper in it's graphic papers production. Recycled fibre accounts for one third of all fibre used in paper production.

Our plywood and timber mills make efficient use of raw materials. We utilise wood by-products, such as bark, sawdust and sawmill chips, for pulp and paper making, chipboard production and energy generation. We generate only a marginal of landfill waste. We are always looking for opportunities to recycle or recover products at the end of their life cycle.

We forward hazardous waste, such as oil or oil-contaminated equipment, to licensed hazardous waste treatment facilities in compliance with relevant statutory requirements.

It all starts with sorting

The use of recovered paper as a raw material requires well-organised sorting and collecting systems. The paper collection system available in your national and regional legislation. Recovered paper is an essential raw material for UPM, and we want to safeguard it's availability  by co-operating with communities and wastepaper companies.

Offices and individual households play an important role here. Most paper, including used newspapers, cardboard, packaging, stationery, direct mail, magazines, catalogues, greetings cards, envelopes and wrapping paper, can be recycled.


Around we go – the shape of future waste management is circular