​Energy efficiency is at the core of everyday actions


We strive to improve our energy efficiency in everything we do. Our target is to improve our energy efficiency by 1 percent every year.  Over the last 20 years, the energy efficiency of our production has significantly improved thanks to energy audits, innovations and internal campaigns.


Our pulp and paper mills, which use electrical and thermal energy in their production processes, account for most of our total energy consumption. Most of this energy is consumed in the manufacturing of mechanical pulp, pumping, vacuum systems and paper drying.

All our pulp mills and almost all our paper mills generate steam and electricity simultaneously in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

We strive to continuously improve our energy efficiency across all our operations. We have carried out regular energy audits at our mills since 1997. The auditing process focuses on improving each mill’s energy balance, particularly concerning the use of electricity, heat and process water. 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 of possible investment needs. With good ideas, savings can often be achieved without major investment.

Reducing emissions to air

The continuous efforts to improve energy generation processes and investing in advanced flue gas purification technology have enabled us to achieve and revise some of our targets.

In 2019, we tightened our 2030 targets for reducing emissions of fossil CO2 and acidifying flue gases. For nitrogen oxide (NOX) and sulphur dioxide (SO2), the earlier 2030 target was reached in 2018, so we revised our reduction target for acidifying flue gases and widened the scope to include all our production, and not just pulp and paper mills.

For fossil CO2 emissions, we wanted to be significantly more ambitious to comply with the UN’s 1.5°C pledge. In January 2020 we set a challenging 2030 target to reduce our emissions by 65 % from the 2015 levels, and in November 2020 the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approved this target to be aligned with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Continuous improvement and investments will help us to reach the new targets. 

Along with our new reduction target, we also aim to ensure that the positive development of our CO2 emissions from fossil fuels do not have a negative impact on acidification.

In terms of logistics, we have entered into a long-term charter agreement with the Dutch company, Spliethoff Group. This company has designed and built seven vessels for us, which we use for sustainable sea transportation in Europe. These vessels are dual-fueled and can run with liquid natural gas (LNG), meaning a significant reduction in NOX (approx. 85%), SO2 (approx. 99%) and CO2 (approx. 25%) emissions in comparison to the more commonly used marine gas oil. Read more on Our UPM Logistics website.

Possible air emissions Source​ ​Reduction measure
Carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, small amounts of particles and organic compounds - Energy generation at power plants; emission parameter depends on used fuels - Minimised by efficient purification, by the choice of fuels and by controlling the combustion conditions in the boilers
​Odour from malodorous sulphur compounds TRS (total reduced sulphur) - Chemical pulp production - ​Reduced by collecting and burning
​Odour from decomposing of organic substances - Closed-circuit water systems (e.g. through high temperature and anaerobic conditions) - Measures taken at mill sites when needed
Noise - Production facilities, e.g. wood handling, debarking, suction pumps - ​Controlled at the source or along its propagation
- Minimised at the stage when new equipment is being acquired and new facilities constructed
- Older plants systematically refitted with sound insulation systems