Metsä Group’s objective is to use no fossil fuels at all in its production in ten years’ time. This is no easy objective, but we are working to achieve it every day.
Renewable energy plays a key role in Metsä Group’s operations. We produce more than 15 per cent of Finland’s renewable energy. In 2019, 90 per cent of the fuels used in our production were fossil-free – mainly wood-based side streams.
One of our strategic sustainability objectives is that we won’t use any fossil fuels in our production by 2030, due to which we would not generate any fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions either.
“Climate issues are discussed a lot in society. People are generally of the opinion that fossil-based CO2 emissions should be reduced. We at Metsä Group are at the vanguard of this work, given that we aim to zero our fossil emissions,” says Arto Lampinen, SVP, Technology, at Metsä Group.
Energy efficiency lies at the core of everything
Energy efficiency and energy conservation are integral for achieving the objective of Fossil free mills 2030. The more energy we save and the more efficiently we use it, the less emissions we generate.
“We’re also trying to reduce the use of fossil fuels all the time. We’re thinking about whether we could use bio-based fuels instead of fossil fuels’’, says Lampinen.
It is important to be able to use production side streams efficiently. In 2019, most of our bio-based fuels were production side streams, such as sawdust and bark as well as logging residue.
Long-range work – investments play a major role
The journey towards fossil free mills requires long-range planning and continuous work.
‘’We’re planning measures that we’ll be implementing throughout the coming decade. If a mill’s equipment has to be modernised in a matter of four to five years, the modernization will be carried out in such a manner that we can do away with fossil fuels altogether.”
Future investments, such as the potential investment in Kemi and the Rauma sawmill investment, which was decided on in the spring, play a significant role in our journey towards fossil free production. The new mills and production lines are designed to be fossil free.
Given that fossil free production is such a major global goal, the technology making use of fossil free fuels is also developing at a rapid pace.
‘’Even so, we need to consider timeliness and adopt long-range solutions. We have to think about where and when to invest in new technology,” says Lampinen.
Lampinen hopes that we will have the chance to invest, and build new production lines, because that will also allow us to adopt new solutions.
“The efficiency arises from the fact that we can design the entire system to be resource efficient and fossil free from the start.”