Always on our agenda

We constantly look for new solutions to minimise our environmental impact by selecting optimised raw materials, energy sources and production methods and developing new products and processes.


​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 verification); 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.

Continuous improvemen in environmental performance

We take a holistic look at our environmental operations and have many means to do that: 

·       to consistently reduce our direct and indirect negative impacts

·       to provide training for employees to keep them up to date in managing their daily tasks

·       to share best practices and ideate together

·       to take immediate action when needed
Full compliance with national and international laws and regulations is also a priority for us - with a goal towards zero deviations. Achieving our ambitious 2030 environmental targets requires technological transformation and holistic, forward-looking investment planning. 

Our Clean Run concept complemented with certified management systems allows us to effectively manage and secure continuous improvement of our environmental performance.

Clean Run

Clean Run is a global, holistic concept to manage the daily environmental performance all over UPM. It brings additional value to the ISO 14001 environmental management system which is a basis for all our environmental operations globally. UPM Responsibility team is the owner of the concept and coordinates company level practises together with businesses.

Clean Run defines processes and roles & responsibilities for every UPM employee and guidelines how to manage environmental target setting, audits, incidents and deviations. It is also a tool to manage environmental risks and to continuously develop the controls. Sharing best practises between the sites is an essential part of the Clean Run concept.

One essential part of Clean Run process is to continuously promote more ambitious long-term environmental targets together with businesses. The concept offers a framework for all sites to plan the actions to improve their environmental performance.

Clean Run categorises environmental incidents from 0-5 based on the severity of environmental impact:
Environmental walks and discussions, observations (Category 0), near misses (Category 1-2) and deviations (Categories 3-5).


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.


UPM’s latest commitment to Baltic Sea Action Group diverts ship-generated wastewater discharge from sea to land



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