For us, sustainable production is quite simply about doing more and creating better with less. It is about manufacturing graphic papers which are the natural choice for our customers because they take less resources to produce and have less impact through their production.

What does sustainable paper production mean?

Producing any product requires resources, such as raw materials, energy and people. When these resources are not used in the most efficient way, the consequences are what we know as waste and emissions and the production of products which can have a significant environmental footprint.

Papermaking is no exception. In the paper industry, the aim is to ensure that the production of paper conserves valuable resources and doesn’t place unnecessary burden on the environment by impacting air quality, affecting water resources, or generating waste. It’s also about ensuring safe working conditions for workers and delivering safe products to our customers.

Good for the environment – good for business

The pursuit of producing paper sustainably isn’t only driven by eco-consciousness, it’s also business common sense. Waste and inefficiency are major causes of costs – which means that sustainability is not only good for the environment, but also good for business.



Our approach to sustainable paper manufacturing


2030 Targets

We set ourselves challenging targets

Environmental Management Systems

Following procedures and processes ensures continual improvement

Process & resource efficiency

We thrive to be as eco-efficient as possible

Circular Economy

Minimising waste, optimising recycling and balancing the use of recycled and virgin fibre are elementary to our approach

Environmental reporting

Transparency in environmental performance and footprint

2030 Targets

To achieve ever more sustainable production, UPM has established Responsibility Focus Areas which include performance indicators and targets. These focus areas relate directly to the operations of our paper mills:

Promoting material efficiency and circular economy – reduce, reuse and recycle
Creating climate solutions and working towards carbon neutrality
Using water responsibly

Process & resource efficiency

We continually benchmark the performance of our mills both against each other and against best practice in the industry (known as BAT, Best Available Techniques). This helps each mill to focus on the areas of operation they need to improve and identify the processes or technology that could be used.

Two areas in which we work on processes to be as efficient as possible are water and air.

Management Systems

Ensuring that our mills operate as sustainably as possible doesn’t happen by accident; we follow a process to ensure this. Two of the most valuable tools we have in place at all our mills are our Clean Run process, and certified Environmental Management Systems.

Each mill has a manager or expert appointed as responsible for developing and reporting of environmental performance. Awareness and competence are essential for all our employees, and training is provided in special fields such as chemicals handling, effluent treatment and waste management.

Circular Economy

In a circular economy, waste is minimised, and renewable resources are used in a sustainable, efficient way. UPM’s circular approach is simple:

We reuse or recycle virtually all of our production waste, create products which can be recycled many times, and we play a leading role in recycling our products after use.

Environmental reporting

We believe in being transparent about the environmental performance of our mills and the environmental footprint of our products. It helps to maintain our focus in sustainable production, and helps our customers make informed decisions.


Learn more about sustainable production

The paper life cycle 

Discover the paper life cycle by clicking on the images. You can explore the different steps further by browsing through the carousel below.

Explore life cycle

Making paper

The basic principles of papermaking have remained almost unchanged for two thousand years. Fibres are distributed evenly in water and the water is drained, leaving the fibres bonded together. Learn more how we utilise advanced technology today in many different ways.

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Safety first! UPMers share their personal tips for traffic safety

The road safety training programme produced by UPM and the Finnish Road Safety Council, Liikenneturva, has reached thousands of UPM employees globally, in nine different languages. The new training model encourages people to think about how they act behind the wheel.



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