Production side streams are utilised efficiently

The wise use of resources steers our operations. The utilisation of industrial side streams is an important way to improve resource efficiency. In 2023, we used 96% of production waste and side streams as materials or energy.

The utilisation of side streams is split up to material use, fertilizers and soil improvement, industrial use and energy. At the moment 14% of Metsä Group’s utilised side streams are used as fertilisers or landscaping materials.

Cooperation with smaller and industrial partners is key to creating efficient ecosystems as part of sustainable bioeconomy and circular economy. Resource efficiency and a broad network of partners enables us to make bioproducts for a variety of end uses: wood products, pulp, board, papers, wood-based textiles, composite materials for the electronics industry, and raw materials for paints, tyres, perfumes, agriculture fertilisers and many more. With collaboration and partners, Metsä Group aims to achieve its objective of 100% utilisation of production side streams.

Constantly minimising landfill waste

The amount of landfill waste decreased by about 38% in 2022 compared to 2021. Metsä Group has still work to do in developing solutions for utilisation of green liquor dregs and minimising its landfilling. Being able to take advantage of the full potential of production side streams requires scientific research and cross-industry collaboration.

Our largest side stream fractions are green liquor sludge, ash from energy production and lime ash from pulp production. Other by-products can be used as fertilisers, in landfill construction and in landscaping, among other purposes. We also sell by-products to our partners for further processing.

It is our principle to use raw materials efficiently. Our priority is always to favour the recovery of waste and by-products and to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.

Examples of how we utilize production side streams

Ash for fertilisers

Ash for fertilisers and soil enrichment

The forest industry generates wood ash that can be used as a forest fertiliser and in landscaping, either as-is or mixed with crushed rock or fibre clay. Mixed with calcareous by-products, it can also be used as a soil enrichment agent.


Bark for energy production and or landscaping

Bark is mainly generated in wood processing and is used in energy production in the forest industry. Gritty mix bark is generated when bark containing sand is separated during the debarking process. Gritty bark can be used as-is, either for landscaping or in the manufacture of compost.

Fibre clay

Tissue paper from recycled fibre, sports fields from fibre clay

Alongside fresh forest fibre, also recycled household waste paper is used by Metsä Group to produce tissue paper. During the de-inking of recycled paper, fibres that have become too soft and short are separated to fibre clay, along with fillers. It can be used in geotechnical construction as such in the base layer in sports field construction.