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Contributing towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Materials, Water & Energy

Stora Enso strives to improve resource efficiency – to make more with less. This benefits our business, as well as the environment and society.


Opportunities and challenges
Global warming, population growth, and urbanisation are global megatrends that are bringing about significant long-term changes around the world. At Stora Enso we strive to respond proactively to these trends by developing products and technologies based on renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable materials. Replacing the use of fossil-based resources with renewable raw materials is the foundation for a sustainable bioeconomy.

Most of our mills use substantial amounts of biomass in their internal energy production. This renewable energy is generated from by-products and residuals from our own production processes, harvesting residues, recovered wood and wastes.

Although most of our production units are located in regions where water is relatively abundant, global water scarcity may still impact our operations in the long-term through our supply chains, and as controls on pollution, recycling, and water pricing are toughened.
Our policies
How we work
Stora Enso continuously works to improve resource efficiency by driving material, waste, water, and energy efficiency, and by developing new business opportunities from residuals and by-products. 
Environmental work at our mills, including water and energy management and resource efficiency, is supported by third-party-certified Environmental Management Systems. For example, all our board, pulp, and paper mills are certified to ISO 14001, and all our sawmills and corrugated packaging facilities are certified or are in the process of being certified to ISO 14001.

By the end of 2016, 33 of our production units were certified to the ISO 50001 energy efficiency management system standard, covering 92% of our total energy consumption in 2016.

Our production processes generate various residuals and wastes, including ash, black liquor, sawdust, bark, and wastewater treatment sludge. Many of these materials are used in our internal bioenergy generation and pulp production, or supplied to our partners for uses such as agriculture, brick manufacturing, or road construction. In 2016, the utilisation rate for residuals and by-products throughout the group was 98%, including both internal and external reuse.

While we handle relatively large amounts of water, only around 4% of this water is consumed in our production processes and almost 96% is returned to the local environment. Process water is purified by our treatment plants and then discharged, whereas cooling and other non-process water can be safely released without treatment. Our water use is regulated by the relevant authorities based on local conditions and operational permits.

Our energy supply is managed under long-term contracts, direct market access through energy exchanges, efficient combined heat and power production, and shareholdings in power generation companies.

Stora Enso is committed to continuous improvements in energy efficiency and energy self-sufficiency. Opportunities to use biomass fuels and other low-carbon options are assessed when making energy investments. Our central energy efficiency investment fund is a cornerstone of our continuous energy efficiency work.

During 2016, we introduced a new KPI on Stora Enso's carbon intensity, focusing on fossil CO2 emissions in relation to total energy consumption. Read more under Carbon dioxide.


We are currently outlining our approach to materials with new KPIs.
In 2016, the utilisation rate for residuals and by-products across the group was 98%, including both internal and external use.
Our target to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD) levels in discharged water per saleable tonne of pulp, paper, and board by 7% from the 2007 benchmark level was achieved and completed in 2016, following a reduction of 9% during the year.

Stora Enso's target to reduce normalised process water discharges by 6% from the 2005 benchmark level was not achieved in 2016 as the reduction amounted to 3%. We will continue to follow this KPI as part of our new approach to water and energy efficiency.

Our group-wide target is to reduce the specific electricity and heat consumption per saleable tonne of pulp, paper, and board by 15% by 2020 compared to 2010 benchmark level. In 2016, a saving of 4.5% had been achieved.

Our fuel use in 2016