Always on our agenda
Knowing our environmental impacts
All our operations have direct and indirect impacts on the environment. Forest management inevitably affects the landscape, forest structure and biodiversity. Our production processes generate effluents and air emissions. Our plants also generate solid waste, noise and odour that needs to be managed. The indirect impacts of our business mainly arise from transportation and the procurement of raw materials, chemicals, fuels and power.
Lighter environmental footprint
Our target is to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations and products throughout their lifecycle, all the way from raw material sourcing, production, delivery and product use to their recycling and reuse. Our mill sites place special emphasis on preventing air and water pollution, reducing waste and energy consumption, and mitigating local impacts such as noise and odour.
The following table presents an overview of our key environmental aspects and how we strive to reduce them:
|Key environmental aspect||Main environmental impact||Measures|
|Wood raw materials||Use of the forest ecosystem (biodiversity, products and
services from forest ecosystems, land use aspects); Indirect environmental impact by chemical pulp suppliers.
|Use of wood from certified sustainable forestry (chain-of-custody verifi cation); assessment of chemical pulp suppliers.|
|Chemicals||Indirect environmental impact by suppliers; pollution due to
inappropriate handling or storage.
|Supplier audits; requirement for certified environmental management systems; choice of environmentally sound products.|
|Fossil fuels||Use of finite resources; climate change.||Co-generation of heat and power; maximise use of renewable fuels; efficient energy use.|
|Airborne emissions from power plants||Acidifi cation of the soil (NOX, SO2); air pollution (particles); climate change (from CO2 from fossil fuels).||Compliance with limit values*); continuous improvement; use of renewable fuels and natural gas; emission trading.|
|Emissions to water||Eutrophication (nitrogen, phosphorus); oxygen demand
(COD, BOD); adsorbable organic compounds (AOX) for
chemical pulp mills.
|Compliance with limit values*); continuous improvement;
modern elementary chlorine-free chemical pulp production.
|Solid waste to landfills||Use of landfill sites and municipal waste incineration plants.||Increase or maintain high recovery quota.|
|Noise||Adverse effects on personnel and local area.||Compliance with limit values*); continuous improvement.|
|Odours||Adverse effects on local area.||Optimised operation of production facilities and effluent treatment plants.|
|Transport||Indirect environmental impact (energy consumption;
airborne emissions; noise).
|Use of appropriate means of transport; dual-purpose
transport; electric fork lift trucks.
|Products||Environmentally sound disposal after use.||Recycling (recovered paper processing).|
|Soil||Acidification of the soil by airborne and water emissions; risk of pollution by landfill sites or by chemicals and oil-containing equipment.||Best practices for the storage and handling of chemicals; compliance with landfill permits and legislation (landfill insulation; gas collection and treatment, leachate water
*The purpose of limits for waste water load, airborne emissions and noise specified in the operation permits is to prevent any significant environmental impact.
Continuous improvement through integrated management
Our mills use integrated, certified management systems as practical tools for mitigating environmental impacts. These systems cover quality management, environmental protection, energy efficiency and health and safety issues. They embrace the principle of continuous improvement through target setting and monitoring.
The Chain of Custody system for monitoring the origin of wood forms part of our mills’ integrated management systems.
The environment is everyone’s business
Our mills are responsible for ensuring that both our external obligations and internal targets are properly met. Each mill has an environmental manager or expert appointee who is responsible for the development and co-ordination of environmental affairs and reporting. Our VP Responsibility oversees group-wide environmental issues.
Environmental issues are a big part of the day-to-day work done by everyone at UPM. Environmental competence is an essential skill for all our employees, and related training is provided in special fields such as chemicals handling, safety and risk management. Environmental issues are also highlighted in the induction of new employees.
Progress through ambitious targets
Our environmental management is based on continuous identification of our impacts. We continually improve our performance through annual target-setting and development of detailed environmental programmes that outline specific measures, schedules and responsibilities. Our progress in attaining these targets is monitored regularly.
In addition to the specific targets pursued by individual mills, we have common long-term goals that apply to all sites, such as increasing the use of certified wood, decreasing water consumption and increasing the reuse of waste.
Clean Run is an internal campaign aiming to lessen the environmental impact of all our operations. Our goal is to significantly improve our current level of environmental performance and awareness and enhance the efficiency of our risk management.
The campaign has been visible at our pulp and paper mills since 2011, fostering a proactive approach to managing environmental operations. All our pulp and paper mills are committed to systematic reporting and active follow-up of environmental deviations. All mills follow company-wide guidelines for environmental reporting under five defined categories. The five categories range from 1 (minor) to 5 (serious).
In tandem with improved information sharing, our Clean Run audits have helped to identify issues that need attention and related best practices. The ‘Clean Run Way of Thinking’ has become part of our daily routines.
Management of environmental risks
All our mills take specific actions to prevent environmental hazards. Environmental risk assessments are carried out to identify potential risks. The most significant risks at our pulp and paper mills relate to process malfunctions and to the transportation, storage and handling of chemicals.
The results of the risk assessments are documented at the mills. This data is updated if any changes are made to the process.
In the event of an accident or emergency, the mills take precautions to prevent or mitigate harmful environmental impacts. Most mill sites have their own fire department or fire crews who are trained to take action in cases of chemical accidents.