(UPM, Helsinki, 21 June, 2012 at 11.15 EET) – The first Rio Earth Summit in 1992 challenged business to follow a more sustainable path; to create more value using less raw materials and with less environmental impact. UPM picked up that gauntlet and today our paper is more than it used to be. Our Economist case study shows why.
“Now, 20 years on from Rio, we decided to look back and ask ourselves the question just how much have we achieved in that time,” says Jyrki Ovaska, President of UPM Paper.
UPM chose The Economist, an internationally renowned news and business publication, as a real life example to illustrate the progress. The Economist has, almost exclusively, been produced on UPM paper for those 20 years.
The study showed that in the production of paper used for The Economist 90 percent less fossil carbon emissions are now released, 35 percent less water is used and the amount of production waste to landfill has declined by an incredible 90 percent compared to 1992. These impressive results are complemented by the share of PEFC certified fibre used in that paper rising from zero to 100 percent and the producing mills being awarded the EU Ecolabel in 2007.
“Using this example allowed us to paint an accurate picture of how much the environmental footprint of the paper used for that particular publication has changed since the first Rio Earth Summit. We even surprised ourselves with the impressive results,” Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, UPM’s Vice President, Environment continues.
To achieve this dramatic improvement the company has made significant investments such as new waste water treatment facilities and state-of-the-art biomass based renewable energy plants. All this means more efficient paper production, with less energy, less water, less waste, and with lower carbon footprint.
“The results of The Economist case study show how much can be achieved when a company embeds sustainable development at the very heart of its business. In our paper business it’s confirmed by UPM achieving the EU Ecolabel for almost its entire product range. Our paper truly sets the environmental benchmark,” underlines Ovaska.
For further information, please contact:
UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 24,000 people and it has production plants in 16 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed EUR 10 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com
UPM Paper has 22 modern and sustainable paper mills in Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, China and the United States. Many of them are large recycling centres and bioenergy producers, as well as paper manufacturers. UPM Paper employs almost 13,000 people. In 2011, the business group’s net sales amounted to EUR 7.2 billion. To learn more, visit: www.upmpaper.com
The Rio+20 Earth Summit in brief: