Metsä Group’s pulp production achieves excellent results for its environmental footprint

Metsä Group Press release 28 February 2023
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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,  our customers and the communities we belong to. We continue to invest in modern technologies to produce pulp even more sustainably in the future”, says Metsä Fibre’s CEO Ismo Nousiainen

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.   


For further information, please contact:
Juha Laine, Senior Vice President, Communications, Metsä Group, tel. +358 10 465 4541

Metsä Group

Metsä Group is leading the way in advancing the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, bioproduct development and a fossil free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. We focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards, as well as tissue and greaseproof papers.

Metsä Group’s annual sales amount to approximately EUR 7 billion, and we have around 9,500 employees in around 30 countries. Our international Group has its roots in the Finnish forests: our parent company is Metsäliitto Cooperative which is owned by over 90,000 forest owners. 

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