We use natural resources efficiently: zero waste

Every part of wood is used for the purpose for which it is best suited – logs are delivered to sawmills, pulpwood is used for pulp, other bioproducts and further processing, and branches, treetops and bark are used to generate bioenergy. The chips produced as a by-product of sawing are used in Metsä Fibre’s pulp production.
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  • 2024, Sustainability

Logs arriving at our sawmills are already optimally cut in the forest from the perspective of customer needs and the end products. This ensures that the end products are of a high quality, and that not even a splinter of this valuable raw material is wasted.

Our goal is to fully utilise production side streams by 2030 and not generate any landfill waste in our production. Already, an extremely large portion of production side streams can be put to use as various by-products and energy. 

A unique bioproduct mill concept

The bioproduct concept developed by Metsä Fibre enables the future expansion of the company’s product range with new bioproducts with increasingly high added value. In the bioproduct mill concept, the wood raw material and production side streams are used in the form of various bioproducts, which can replace fossil-based materials and fossil fuels.

Resource wisdom is also implemented through cooperation with business partners. In an industrial ecosystem, different operators produce different end products using their own expertise.

Metsä Fibre’s own resource efficiency has also been improved through new bioproduct solutions. At the Äänekoski bioproduct mill, the production of sulphuric acid from the mill’s odorous gases has expanded the mill’s closed chemicals cycle. It also minimises any sulphate discharges into the waterways. The same technology is also used at the new Kemi bioproduct mill.

Metsä Fibre’s Joutseno pulp mill and the company’s bioproduct mills in Äänekoski and Kemi all produce product gas from bark to be used as a fossil free fuel in the mills’ own processes. Our goal is that in the future, all of our mills will operate completely without fossil fuels.

Metsä Fibre is currently using nearly 90 per cent of its side streams. Green liquor dregs generated in pulp mills’ chemical recovery have traditionally been considered a challenging waste. Their potential uses have been studied extensively, and the first practical applications have been found in earthworks.

Green liquor dregs can be used to replace virgin raw materials such as crushed rock and gravel in field structures to save natural resources. Since the beginning of 2023, all green liquor dregs generated at the Äänekoski bioproduct mill have been used for earthworks. The green liquor dregs from the new Kemi bioproduct mill are also used in earthworks.

Potential uses for green liquor dregs include geopolymers, which are made from industrial side streams and can be used to replace concrete, for example. Green liquor dregs can be used as alkaline activators required in the production process. They are less expensive than commercial alkaline activators and have lower carbon dioxide emissions. Metsä Fibre is conducting related research collaboration with the University of Oulu, among others. The research continues, but promising results have already been achieved.

Metsä Fibre and the University of Oulu are also collaborating on a project in which green liquor dregs are used to produce artificial stone. Green liquor dregs are used as a binder and activator in this production process, as well. More development work is still required before the product is ready.

Metsä Fibre’s measures towards 2030

  • We look for new applications for production waste with our partners.
  • We advance our research projects related to the utilisation of green liquor dregs.

Indicators by the end of 2030

  • 0 tonnes of waste sent to landfills

International Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to the target:

International Sustainable Development Goals