​Low-carbon energy sources

Fossil carbon-free energy sources make up most of UPM’s energy portfolio. We also use hydropower, nuclear power and efficient combined heat and power (CHP) using mainly biomass at our mill sites.


Heading for a fossil-free future

Due to its high energy self-sufficiency rate, UPM has made rapid advances with energy solutions that produce less fossil carbon dioxide. Where possible, fossil fuels are substituted by renewable fuels. If fossil fuels are unavoidable, natural gas is the first choice, depending upon regional availability.

Our CHP plants burn renewable fuels such as bark, forest residues, fibre residues and solid residues from deinking and effluent treatment plants. Additionally, fossil fuels including natural gas or light fuel oil are used at our CHP plants and steam boilers. Coal is used as an energy source only in mills where there is no other alternative fuel source.

Our chemical pulp mills combust biomass-based waste liquor – black liquor – that is formed during the pulping process.

Biomass-based energy

UPM is a forerunner in the use of wood-based biomass. We have invested heavily in renewable biomass-based energy generation during the past decade by replacing a number of old fossil fuel-fired power plants with new biomass-based power plants.

At the same time, UPM has increased the range of wood biomass that is harvested sustainably from its forests for energy generation. UPM has worked closely with regulators, non-governmental organizations and universities in developing methods of sustainable biomass harvesting.

UPM’s biomass-based energy sources also include bark and black liquor from the pulping process. Effective large-scale utilization of biomass-based fuels is an important part of our energy strategy.


Hydropower is a key part of UPM’s diverse energy portfolio, offering a good example of a renewable, CO2-free energy resource. Hydropower is a cost-efficient way to generate energy. Hydropower plants have low maintenance costs and a long life span. Hydropower is also a flexible and adjustable way of generating electricity.

UPM owns nine hydropower plants in Finland and is a shareholder in two hydropower companies, Pohjolan Voima Oy and Kemijoki Oy. Most of UPM’s hydropower plants were built between the 1930s and 1950s. Some of our paper mills have their own hydropower plants located on nearby rivers.

Through continuous modernization, UPM aims to progressively improve the operational efficiency and environmental safety of its hydropower plants.

Nuclear power

In Finland, UPM has a stake in the nuclear power industry through its associated company, Pohjolan Voima Oy, which is the second largest power generator in the country. PVO is the majority shareholder of the nuclear power producer Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, which operates two reactors in Olkiluoto, Finland.

UPM has reserved approximately 31% (500 MW) of the capacity of TVO’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power unit, which is currently under construction.