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Mitigating climate change and resource scarcity in the paper industry

With wood being the main raw material for the paper industry, forest management is a key sustainability issue. Raw material scarcity is a global sustainability challenge. 

UPM Communication Papers is the world’s leading producer of graphic papers. It has been a major supplier of Lyreco for many years under its NEW FUTURE brand and among the most performing ones in terms of sustainability. By committing to reducing CO2 emissions and preserving woods ressources, they inject change in the ways of working on a market that requires more and more attention to its ecological footprint.


How does UPM reduces its carbon footprint?

Pävi Rissanen, UPM Director, Sustainability : Paper production requires energy. In order to reduce energy consumption and fossil carbon emissions, UPM has put a lot of effort into energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption by 14% per ton of paper over the past 10 years. Energy is still needed and CO2 emissions from energy generation can be reduced by using nonfossil fuels. UPM has invested over €1 billion in the generation of CO2 neutral energy in the last 10 years. About 80% of the energy UPM generates produces no fossil CO2 emissions. Sustainably managed forests act as carbon sinks and UPM is sustaining these forests and their biodiversity, owning close to 1 million hectares of forests.

How does UPM ensure a balance of forest use and growth?

PR : Taking care of the main raw material, wood, is a top priority. Our business is based on the continuous growth of forests and the long-term availability of wood. To make sure that more trees grow than are harvested, we plant 50 million trees a year - 100 trees a minute. Forest certification schemes are good tools to demonstrate sustainable forestry practices. UPM has helped European forests expand by 11  million hectares over the last 20 years, for example by supporting the development of forest certification schemes and purchasing from certified sources. 
The world’s resources are limited and too much of these are being wasted. Raw material scarcity needs to be addressed and that’s why we strive for a circular future. This is done, for example, by putting every fibre of wood that we harvest to good use, collecting enough recovered fibres to ensure a sustainable paper cycle and transforming waste into valuable products.

How does UPM work with Lyreco in this field?

PR : We share information about sustainability with Lyreco on a regular basis and help each other progress in that area. We also work together to supply the relevant regions from the closest mills (Nordic from Kymi, Central Europe from Nordland) to minimise transport. The recyclability of packages is a topic that we are discussing: UPM barrier wrapper is already used for UPM’s New Future brand. We definitely want to continue in that development.

On the picture : Païvi Rissanen, UPM Director, Sustainability