Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has achieved excellent results in terms of sustainability and environmental efficiency in a study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems (IMWS) in Halle, Germany. The study comprehensively examined the environmental footprint of Äänekoski bioproduct mill pulp production. The Äänekoski bioproduct mill was compared with average values of pulp mills in Europe and Latin America.
Äänekoski bioproduct mill, which produces pulp e.g., for printing and writing papers, speciality papers, tissue papers and paperboards, achieves top results in the study. To sum up, pulp from Äänekoski bioproduct mill has significantly lower emissions and the lowest environmental footprint compared to the pulp produced in average level pulp mills in Europe and Latin America. The complete set of environmental impact categories can be found at the following link: Spotlight report - Life Cycle Assessment of fibres from bioproduct mill compared to fibres from average European and Latin American pulp mills
The environmental footprint of Äänekoski bioproduct mill’s pulp production was comprehensively investigated by experts from IMWS based on DIN EN ISO 14044. External independent scientists have confirmed the conformity to the norm for the conduction of the Fraunhofer study. The study involved comparing Äänekoski bioproduct mill (Finland) with the average ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) and TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) pulp mills in Europe and ECF mills in Latin America. ECF and TCF are alternative technologies of pulp, and the Äänekoski bioproduct mill uses the advanced ECF technology.
“We have set ourselves the goal of producing our fresh fibre pulp in a particularly sustainable way. This study verifies that we are on the right path. The environmental footprint of pulp as a first-class sustainable raw material is of utmost importance for us,
In Äänekoski bioproduct mill, the fossil CO2-eq emissions per tonne are approximately 30 percent lower than average European pulp mills with ECF production processes and 45 percent lower than the average TCF production. In the Äänekoski bioproduct mill using the state-of-the-art technology and modern ECF bleaching process, ozone layer impact is significantly lower than in average European mills that use the TCF process. In the model, the average TCF production showed a higher impact on the ozone layer due to the process chemicals used and a higher nitrogen oxide emission.
The particulate matter load (so called ‘fine dust’) at the Äänekoski mill is about 45 percent lower compared to the average European pulp mills using ECF technology and up to 70 percent lower compared to average TCF mills. And in terms of acidification, the Äänekoski bioproduct mill showed 35 percent lower acidification compared to European TCF pulp mills and 15 percent lower acidification compared to European ECF pulp mills.
At the moment, Metsä Group is building a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. The new mill will be industry-leading in terms of production, environmental and energy efficiency. The Kemi bioproduct mill will be built using the best available technology (BAT). The technological level meets and even exceeds the EU BREF requirements. Metsä Group's bioproduct mills use no fossil fuels and the aim is to use 100 percent of the by-product streams and produce no waste.