We believe that many key solutions for mitigating climate change and overcoming other environmental challenges will be based on the use of renewable raw materials, cleaner and more energy efficient production processes, and sustainable forest management practices.
Our ultimate “Vision Zero” is of an industry with no waste to landfill, no harmful air emissions, and no
wastewater discharges. We realise that this ideal cannot be achieved soon, but this vision nevertheless
helps us to take the right
Certified production quality
Stora Enso has management systems in place to ensure that all our units adapt the relevant best environmental practices. All Stora Enso’s pulp, paper and board production units are certified according to the ISO 14001 management system standard. Find our mills and their certificates by using Stora Enso's Certificate finder.
Environmental performance of suppliers
While our own operations play a major role in the value chains of our pulp, paper, paperboard and solid wood products, we also strive to enhance environmental performance along our whole value chain in order to continuously improve our sourcing and the overall environmental performance of our final products. Our responsibility requirements for suppliers and the sustainability audits we conduct at suppliers’ facilities both include strict environmental criteria.
Stora Enso is constantly working to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions along the company’s value chain. This involves promoting sustainable forestry, creating innovative products based on renewable raw
materials, and developing cleaner and more efficient operations.
Most of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our operations come from the energy we purchase and produce at our mills. The most effective way for us to reduce our fossil CO2 emissions is to further improve our energy efficiency and to increase the share of bioenergy in our total energy use.
Products with a low carbon footprint
Stora Enso’s products are based on renewable materials with a comparatively low carbon footprint. Examples include our renewable packaging and wood-based construction solutions. In many cases these products can be used as substitutes for fossil fuel based materials. All of Stora Enso’s divisions have calculated greenhouse gas emissions for their main products.
Forests and the climate
Wood is our most important raw material, and the benefits of using forest biomass are manifold. Sustainable forest and plantation management plays a vital role in mitigating global warming. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store the carbon it contains. Carbon is also stored in harvested wood products. As long as forests and plantations are managed sustainably, new generations of trees will grow back after mature trees are logged, absorbing more CO2 from the atmosphere.
Sustainable forest management also helps to maintain other valuable features of forests, such as
biodiversity. We promote forest certification and chain-of-custody certification schemes to guarantee that all our wood originates from sustainably managed forests and tree plantations. We also actively combat illegal logging, which is one of the causes of forest loss and degradation, threats to biodiversity and distorted markets for wood.
Our tree plantations sequester more carbon than the previous land uses, especially in Latin America, where our plantations have almost entirely been planted on modified grasslands and degraded pasturelands. We actively restore and conserve areas of Atlantic rainforest in and around tree plantations we own through our joint venture Veracel in Brazil.
The cornerstone of Stora Enso’s energy efficiency strategy is our global energy target. Our Group-wide target is to reduce our specific electricity and heat consumption per tonne of pulp, paper and board production by 15% by 2020, compared with the baseline year of 2010. In 2014 this indicator was 4%
lower than 2010 benchmark level.
Energy procurement and generation
Stora Enso’s operations are based on the processing of renewable resources. The most energy intensive phase in Stora Enso’s value chain is the production processes of our paper and board products.
Stora Enso generates steam and electricity internally for use at our production facilities, and we also purchase fuel, electricity and heat from external suppliers. We strive to secure and enhance access to cleaner energy through strategic partnerships with external energy suppliers.
Pulp and paper production results in by-products such as black liquor, bark, and different kinds of sludge. These materials together with harvesting residues and recovered wood all constitute important biomass sources for our internal energy generation.
Almost all of the water we use directly comes from lakes and rivers, and around 95% of this total volume is recycled back to the environment. Water plays a central role in our pulp, paper and board production processes. The structure of paper is dependent on water, as hydrogen bonds are needed to keep the wood fibres together. Water is also used for cooling machinery at the mills, for cleaning, and as a carrier of energy in the form of steam. Water is additionally needed as a medium to carry fibres through production processes.
Water also plays a key role in creating the electricity we use and purchase, particularly in hydropower plants. Our mills producing solid wood products additionally need low volumes of water in their manufacturing processes.
Quality of treated process water
All our wastewater streams are carefully purified in our treatment plants before being released back into the natural environment. This is essential, since impurities in water discharges can harm ecosystems in lakes, rivers and other natural water bodies.
Water use along our supply chain
We strive to continuously improve water management along our supply chain in order to manage our water-related risks. We require high quality water management from our suppliers as a part of our responsible sourcing. Water issues also are an integral element in our sustainable forest management and land use.
We participate actively in various international initiatives related to water. These initiatives include the CEO Water Mandate of the UN Global Compact and the work of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on water risk assessment tools. Stora Enso is also actively participating in the Water Footprint Network and in the development of an international ISO standard for water accounting.
Our waste reuse rate across the Group is around 98% today. We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to reuse materials that would otherwise end up as wastes.
Stora Enso’s production processes generate various wastes, the vast majority of which are reused as residuals. Such materials include biomass fibres, ash from energy production, lime solids from pulping processes, and wastewater treatment sludge. Many of these materials are used for our internal bioenergy production, or for agricultural purposes, brick manufacturing and road construction by our stakeholders.
Paper for recycling
Stora Enso is one of the largest single consumers of Paper for Recycling (PfR) within the European market. In 2014 the utilisation rate of Paper for Recycling (PfR) in our paper and board production was 26%.
Through contracts with local authorities and communities we secure volumes of paper from household collection to be sorted and used as a valuable raw material at our mills. This paper is then transported by truck for short distances to sorting plants that are mainly located on our mill sites. After sorting, non-pulpable material is also utilised in our mills own power plants to generate energy.