Choosing a paper supplier with solid environmental credentials helps publishers ensure that climate issues are considered at every step of the paper value chain. But what are the concrete actions that publishers should look for in a supplier?
This article is an extract from the FIPP Insider Podcast episode on publishing and climate change. To read more about how the publishing industry is acting to mitigate climate change, download our Publishing and Climate Change report.
Stefanie Eichiner, Sustainability Manager at UPM Communication Papers, sheds light on how a paper company acts to be a sustainable partner for publishers looking to mitigate climate change. The journey of a paper product starts in the forest, and steps can be taken in each stage of its production to mitigate environmental impacts. UPM Communication Papers is part of UPM Group, which acts for the climate on three different fronts:
- climate-positive forestry to create carbon sinks,
- innovative products to replace fossil materials with renewable ones, and
- efficient reduction of CO2 emissions both in production and in the supply chain.
“To achieve climate positive forestry, the UPM Group plants 50 million tree seedlings every year. We support sustainable forestry practices through forest certification, biodiversity programmes, and supply chain control. In addition, the substitution of fossil resources-based materials with renewable ones increases the carbon capture properties of sustainably managed forests even further, up to 30 percent above what unmanaged forests can capture,” Eichiner explains. “In terms of energy supply, 70% of the energy used at UPM’s paper mills already comes from renewable sources, and we continue to invest significantly in climate-smart and low-emissions energy solutions.”
Indeed, UPM Communication Papers’ energy investments show a clear commitment to a greener future. In the first half of 2020 alone, the company invested €95 million to build a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at its German paper mill, UPM Nordland Papier. The plant covers the heat demand of the mill and allows UPM Communication Papers to contribute to the stability of the volatile public power system. At UPM Hürth in Germany, the energy provider E.ON is currently building a €110 million biomass power plant, which will both provide steam to the mill and support the German transition towards renewable energy. Additionally, a long-term wind power purchase agreement made in Finland secures 4 TWh of climate-smart energy to UPM Communication Papers over the next three decades, which represents another visible contribution to the transformation of the European energy system.
“We consider it a social responsibility to set meaningful and ambitious climate targets. We are among the first global forest industry companies who are committed to the UN’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C to take tangible climate actions.”
According to Eichiner, the common denominator for all the company’s climate investments is their focus on long-term value creation. “The paper market is under economic pressure. It is therefore a necessity that all our climate actions create long-term value. By making sure that our climate investments double as long-term business opportunities, we will remain the sustainable partner for the publishing industry,” she concludes.
Read more on how the publishing industry is acting to mitigate climate change in the UPM-FIPP white paper Publishing and Climate Change.