When people visit our mills, they often ask: “How many trees are cut down to make one ton of your paper?” The answer is: Zero trees! That might sound strange, so let me explain.
The main purpose of every seedling planted in the forest is to become a tall, straight tree that can be used for lumber. For the landowner, this is where the money is! Good quality trunks that can be used for lumber have a high price tag.
Trees are cut down to make things like homes, furniture, floors, boats and numerous other things.
So if we don’t cut down trees to make our paperboard, where is the raw material coming from? The production of the wood products mentioned above gives a fair amount of trimmings, both in the forest and in sawmills. Some of the leftover wood is the result of how the lumber industry makes its cuts.
Since sawmills can only cut square pieces from the round logs, this leaves edge pieces that are perfect raw material for paperboard.
Other wood for paper can come from the tops of trees. These tree tops are too thin for lumber but excellent for pulp.
Finally, growing trees need the right amount of light and space to grow tall and stay healthy. This means that during a lifecycle the forests need to be thinned; some trees are taken out to give the remaining trees more living space. This thinning wood, the young trees taken out, is also ideal for pulp.
And what we cannot use for pulp is never wasted; it is used for energy. Biofuel from wood residue powers both our Iggesund-, and Workington mills.
This means that the very same tree that is cut down to build a timber house, a kitchen table, or a window frame also is used to produce the packaging material for your ice-cream, your after-shave, or your asthma medicine.
I’m proud that Iggesund Paperboard is supporting a sustainable forestry where all parts of the trees are put to good use and all trees are replaced by baby seedlings growing the stocks of wood for future generations.
Read more about our take on sustainable forestry here or here.
By Johan Granås
Sustainability Communication Manager
Who lives in a timber house and loves ice-cream