On 29 January 2015 the Ecosystem Services discussion forum continued with a talk on bioeconomy. The forum had kicked off successfully in the autumn of 2014 with Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and Barbara Unmüßig from the Heinrich Böll Foundation. This time policy makers and industry representatives met to discuss the challenges and risks of an ecosystem services approach under the heading of “Valuing Nature”.
There was a lively debate on whether the concept of bioeconomy and the expectations associated with it are suited to bringing about sustainable business practices. Innovative production and the use of renewable raw materials could be the answer to important future challenges, whether it be food security or the feedstock or energy use of resources.
Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Managing Director of German Environmental Relief (Deutsche Umwelthilfe), who hosted the event, highlighted the importance of cooperating across the whole of society in order to reach the ambitious objectives of the EU’s and Germany’s bioeconomy strategies. “We are striving to resolve the conflicting objectives in the use of sustainable raw materials by working with policymakers and industry to create both ecological and economical added value. We are committed to representing the interests of environmental conservation and need to engage in dialogue with partners like UPM, who contribute economic expertise to the debate in addition to their ecological know-how.”
As an example of UPM’s sustainable business approach, Dr. Stefanie Eichiner, Manager Environmental Market Support, UPM, introduced the Biofore Concept Car that the forest industry company presented for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show 2014. Bodywork, door panels, side skirts and the whole interior are made of a composite made from cellulose and thermoformable, solvent-free birch plywood. UPM has replaced half of all petrol-based plastic parts with fully recyclable, compostable wood-based materials, enabling a 15% reduction in weight and fuel consumption respectively. The car runs on advanced renewable diesel which is also manufactured by UPM. In a worldwide unique biorefinery, the fuel which is marketed under the name of UPM BioVerno, is made solely from by-products of pulp production. In this way, CO2 emissions are reduced by 80% in comparison with fossil fuels.
”Wood-based raw materials, circular economy and cascaded use are the cornerstones of UPM’s contribution to the EU Comission’s bioeconomy strategy, whose intended result is to ensure that Europe can hold its own within the ecological boundaries set by nature. Our new products are prototypes for such a bioeconomy. But our traditional products like labels and paper are important Biofore products, too. For example, 35% of the fibres used for papermaking are recycled,” Eichiner continues.
Paper is the blueprint for all “Biofore products“. UPM has, for many generations, been making paper from a 100% recyclable raw material. The company has the know-how to make paper from as little raw material as possible while at the same time fulfilling the increasingly demanding requirements on paper quality. Through proprietary innovations in papermaking, e.g. the paper UPM Valor can be made with less raw materials than comparable paper grades – with identical haptic properties, brightness, colour reproduction and smoothness. A 35% recycled content is only one of our contributions to the circular economy. The manufacturing process itself allows us to use resources sparingly. The lighter weight results in more printable surface per tonne of paper and reduces the weight per magazine by 13%. The Finnair Airline, for example, who uses UPM Valor for their in-flight magazine, can thus save fuel, greenhouse gas emissions and costs.
Further keynote talks were given by Professor Dr. Christine Lang, Chairman of the Bioeconomy Council (Bioökonomierat), and Dr. Steffi Ober, Consultant for Sustainable Research Policy at the Federal Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU).
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Stefanie Eichiner, Manager Environmental Market Support, UPM Paper ENA,
Tel. +49 821 3109 348
Copyright photo: Deutsche Umwelthilfe
In the photo, from left to right, the hosts and the panellists:
Ulrich Stöcker, Manager Environmental Conservation, German Environmental Relief, Dr. Stefanie Eichiner, Manager Environmental Market Support, UPM, Dr. Steffi Ober, Consultant for Sustainable Research Policy, Federal Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, Sally Ollech, Project Manager, Biodiversity in Good Company, Professor Dr. Christine Lang, Chairman of the Bioeconomy Council, Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Managing Director of German Environmental Relief, Professor Dr. Bernd Hansjürgens, Manager of the Economy department at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research.
Ecosystem Services discussion forum
The discussion forum is a series of events and was jointly launched by German Environmental Relief (Deutsche Umwelthilfe, DHU), the 'Biodiversity in Good Company‘ inititative as industry network and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung, UFZ) and the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Integrative Biodiversitätsforschung, iDiv), Halle-Jena-Leipzig, as research partners.
Biodiversity in Good Company initiative
The initiative is a cross-industry forum made up of companies that have recognised the conservation of natural capital as an important management issue. Founded as a platform for dialogue and practice together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment in 2008, the initiative is currently led by industry. As recently as in October of 2014, the initiative represented its member companies at the 12th conference of the 194 parties to the international Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD.
UPM Paper ENA
UPM Paper ENA (Europe & North America) is the world’s leading producer of graphic papers, serving customers in Magazine Publishing & Advertising, Merchants, Home & Office, and Newspaper Publishing. A leader in sustainable and high performance papers, UPM Paper ENA’s production is located in Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, and the United States. With headquarters in Germany, UPM Paper ENA employs approximately 10,000 people. To learn more about UPM Paper ENA visit: www.upmpaper.com
Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The group employs around 20,000 people and its annual sales are approximately € 10 billion Euro. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com