A long term perspective
Iggesund Paperboard follows the environmental policy of the Holmen Group quoted here:
"It is in Holmen’s interest to contribute to the positive and sustainable development of society in economic, social and environmental terms. This policy embodies the overriding principles that apply to the Group’s environmental activities in relation to the sustainability concept. This policy is an aid for and an undertaking by all employees in the company.
Holmen shall comply will applicable legislation and other rules laid down by the authorities. Holmen’s business is based on wood fibre, a natural, renewable material that is neutral in terms of the climate. Holmen’s products can be recovered either as material or as energy. The climate issue will have an impact on more or less all aspects of society for some considerable time to come. Holmen will endeavour to ensure that it makes the most effective use possible of raw materials and energy. The Group’s aim is to attain energy-efficient production and to increase production of renewable energy in the form of hydro power, wind power and bio-energy.
The environment and energy working process in Holmen is driven by management systems based on objectives with the goal of achieving continuous improvements. The Group shall adopt a preventive approach and its activities are characterised by a holistic approach in which the forests, the processes and the products are part of a natural cycle. The measures taken are determined by what is technically possible, economically viable and justifiable in terms of energy and the environment.
In the event of incidents, the Group gives priority to the environment rather than production. The environmental impact of current and discontinued businesses shall be acceptable to individuals and the environment.
Holmen’s forests shall be managed with the aim of attaining high and sustainable production of industrial wood and bio-fuel while observing the highest possible consideration to the environment. The forests shall be managed in a way that ensures the long-term survival of native plants and animals in the forest landscape. Wood procurement shall be handled in accordance with the Group’s guidelines for wood purchasing.
In connection with its product development and investment activities Holmen shall take advantage of opportunities to combine efficient production with concern for the environment and energy use. Holmen shall contribute to positive developments in energy and the environment through its own activities and by participating in joint projects.
Responsibility and training
The Group board, the President and CEO, and the business area managers have overall responsibility for issues pertaining to energy and the environment. Holmen’s employees shall undergo continuous personal development to enable them to take personal responsibility for energy consumption and the environment.
Demands on suppliers
Holmen shall require suppliers, contractors and carriers of goods and services to take energy and the environment into consideration in their business activities.
Follow up and feedback
Energy and environment activities are followed up and reported back to ensure compliance with the Group’s environmental policy. Holmen’s goal is to achieve transparency and cooperation in its relations with various stakeholders.
The Workington mill, the Iggesund mill and Strömsbruk are certified in accordance with ISO 14001 and FSC. The Iggesund mill is also certified in accordance with PEFC. The Cellulose and Environment Analysis Service at the Iggesund mill is an accredited laboratory in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 for the analysis of waste water.
A holistic view
In considering the merits of packaging and graphical materials, or the impact of their manufacture on the environment, it is important to take a holistic view. The issues to be considered will normally include four key subjects – the use of raw materials and energy; the production process; product and function; and final recycling or disposal.
It is meaningless and misleading to address narrow issues within any of these broad headings, and at the same time ignore considerations arising from the wider, overall view.
Meeting real needs
As one of the longest surviving materials for communication and packaging, paperboard has been meeting a need within many societies for a long time.
Nowadays, discussions about the general topic of packaging are often focussed on the issue of whether or not packaging actually serves a useful function. The question is often raised in very simplistic terms – is packaging really necessary?
In fact, effective packaging has helped to revolutionise the mass distribution of products in advanced industrial societies. In many cases, the existence of effective packaging actually saves spillage and waste by protecting and preserving products en route from the manufacturer to the retailer and on to the consumer.
Packaging meets real needs. Consumers need to have a wide choice of conveniently available, well presented and well packaged products from which to choose. Manufacturers and retailers need to effectively impart information and attract purchasers.
As has been explained in the description of our manufacturing process, the wood fibre used to produce our products is a renewable resource. The managed forests which supply the timber are constantly replenished. A vigorous growing forest is efficient in absorbing carbon dioxide, fixing carbon, and producing oxygen.
The chemical pulping process is highly energy efficient. As mentioned previously, the chemical recovery in the pulping process is very high. Also, the fact that paperboard has excellent strength in relation to its weight makes it a highly efficient alternative overall. An investment programme focusing on energy will make Iggesund self-sufficient in electricity and completely independent of fossil fuels within a five-year period starting in 2007.
The chemical recovery cycle and burning of dissolved lignin in the recovery boiler: The chemicals are recovered by more than 99%. The steam generated is used in the process and to generate electricity. Click to enlarge image.
The production process
All human activity has some impact on the environment, and modern society uses legislation and regulations to help control everything from the location and style of our houses to the operation of industrial processes. Iggesund Paperboard seeks to meet prevailing environmental regulations with a substantial margin.
We continue to develop cleaner technologies, including improved fibre recovery and effluent treatment systems and solid waste reduction.
Paperboard is combined with other materials, such as plastic laminates, in order to achieve barrier properties. The ability to prolong the shelf life of products, and in some cases to use the packaging as the cooking container, all help to save waste. Furthermore, the technology is now available to separate the plastic from the substrate, and facilitate recovery after the packaging has been used.
One of the main causes of concern in relation to the environment has been the growing amount of waste and how to dispose of it.
Recycling schemes of various kinds have developed as one solution to the waste problem. Paper and board are part of the natural, cyclical ecosystem. This means that used paper and board can be used as a renewable raw material or energy source. To minimise landfill of used paper and board, the best economic and environmental option should be selected for material recycling or energy recovery. Being part of the ecosystem, energy recovery of used paper and board does not add fossil carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. If these two options are not sufficient, used cartons are biodegradable and can be composted, thus posing no long-term threat, even if disposed of by what is arguably the least desirable method: landfill.
These are some of the considerations which must be taken into account in any overall view of paperboard’s environmental merits. More detailed technical information about these issues is available in “Holmen and its World”.
With regard to our own production and the solid waste it produces, the Iggesund mill has completely stopped depositing solid waste at landfill sites. The process at the Workington mill produces zero waste for landfill.
Paperboard as a renewable energy resource. Click to enlarge image.