We work for better climate and environment

We work for better ​climate and nature

Metsä Board's environmental policy

The main principles of Metsä Board’s Environmental Policy are environmental responsibility, energy, water and material efficiency, the promotion of sustainable forestry and requiring environmental responsibility from our suppliers. In addition to the Environmental Policy, our operations are guided by Metsä Group’s Sustainability Principles, which comprehensively cover business, economic and social responsibility issues, as well as environmental responsibility.

All Metsä Board’s production units have certified ISO 9001 quality systems and ISO 14001 environmental management systems in place, as well as a certified chain of custody system that enables the amount of certified wood in their products to be reliably verified. Our certified quality and environmental systems are integrated with a chain of custody system which allows us to track and control the origin of all the wood we use. In addition, a certified OHSAS 18001 occupational and product safety system is in place at all of Metsä Board’s production units.

A key player in bioenergy

At Metsä Board we focus on developing our operations in order to further reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions and to improve our energy efficiency. We have recently launched several major investments in bioenergy production as part of these efforts.

We work hard to mitigate climate change. We earlier set a target to reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions from our production processes by -30% per product tonne by 2020 from 2009 level. This target was already reached in 2014. During the period 2009–2017 Metsä Board’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions decreased by -47%.

At the same time we are striving to make our energy consumption as efficient as possible. To reach this goal, we have set a target to improve our energy efficiency by 12% by 2020 (from 2009 level). During the period 2009–2017 Metsä Board’s energy-efficiency improved by 10,2 %.

To increase the already high share of bioenergy in Metsä Board’s total energy consumption, we have recently invested in two large bioenergy projects that will partially or fully replace energy derived from fossil fuels with renewable energy obtained from biomass. We have completed a turbine investment worth EUR 20 million at Husum Mill in Sweden. This project enables the mill’s electricity self-sufficiency grow from 30% to over 50%. The heat that creates the steam used to run the turbines is generated mainly from black liquor and bark.

At our Kyro Mill, Metsä Board and our partners invested EUR 50 million in a biomass boiler enabling the mill to radically reduce its use of natural gas. The Kyro investment reduced Metsä Board’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions by some 100,000 tonnes annually. Metsä Board will continue to actively investigate opportunities for further investments in bioenergy in the future.

Water efficiency

Plenty of fresh water close to our operations

Water is needed in all of Metsä Board’s production processes: water keeps logs fresh; it helps to separate wood fibres for the paperboard production process; and it transports these fibers to different stages of the production process. Water is also needed for cleaning, cooling, and in smaller quantities to create steam for thermal energy production.

Our mills are located in the Nordic countries which have plenty of clean fresh water. However, we still continuously seek new ways to minimise the use of fresh water in our processes, for instance by recycling our process waters effectively. This minimises our wastewater emissions and saves energy, thus reducing impacts on the climate. The percentages of recycled and reused water vary from mill to mill, mainly depending on product quality requirements and local water conditions. Our mills have each set their own targets and continuous improvement plans for water use as part of their environmental management systems. Metsä Board has additionally launched a project to calculate the water footprint of our products based on a life cycle assessment.

Water taken from surface waters

In 2017 Metsä Board’s fresh water intake totaled 106,8 million cubic metres. Some 99 % of this water was taken from surface waters such as rivers and lakes. Our process water use per product tonne has decreased by -17% since 2010.

Effective wastewater treatment

Our process waters are carefully cleaned before they are released back into rivers, lakes or the sea. Most of our mills operate their own wastewater purification plants. Furthermore, each mill has its own specific environmental permit setting strict limits for pollutant concentrations in released wastewater. 99 % of the water used in our production processes is set back in the close-by waterways after careful purification.

Resource efficiency

Material efficiency

Metsä Board uses materials and resources efficiently, striving to make more out of less. Material efficiency means efficient use of natural resources and efficient reuse of residuals and by-products. In many cases the waste and residuals from our processes can be used as valuable raw material elsewhere.

We work actively to prevent waste generation and to find new ways to reuse residuals and by-products. We continuously reduce the amounts of waste by enhancing our recovery processes, and by increasing the use of organic waste to generate energy.

Environmental risk management

When defining our opportunities and challenges with regard to sustainability or our competiveness, we need to also carefully consider global macro trends such as: climate change; the global scarcity of water; deforestation; ever tightening regulations on sea transportations and waste management; governmental incentives for the use of wood in energy generation; and energy taxation. Our analyses of the future prospects for Metsä Board indicate that our business provides good opportunities, but that there are also some risks requiring active mitigation.

We work actively to minimise and manage all environmental impacts related to our operations. We take a proactive approach to environmental risk management that includes assessing, monitoring and mitigating all the environmental risks related to our partners’ operations as well as our own operations. We manage environmental risks by complying with the limits set in the mills’ environmental permits on factors such as discharges to water, emissions to air, noise, and accidental releases. We also conduct regular environmental risk analyses and audits at our production units.

At the operational level, Metsä Board’s production units continuously carry out small scale investment projects designed to upgrade their production facilities and to reduce environmental loads and environmental risks at our mills. These upgrades have focused on making more efficient use of raw materials, water and energy, as well as on reducing emissions.

All Metsä Board production units have introduced the certified Energy Efficiency System (EES), which serves as a systematic management tool for reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, and all our units are certified according to the ISO 50 001 Energy management system.