“It always takes time to fine tune a new piece of equipment and we’ve also made some smaller investments to optimise our return from the recovery boiler,” explains Olov Winblad von Walter, Manager of Iggesund Mill. “Now we’re getting close to achieving the potential we expected.”
The mill’s environmental improvements are not limited to carbon dioxide. Emissions of sulphur have also been cut by 82 per cent, nitrogen oxides by 19 per cent and particulates by 90 per cent – all compared with 2011, which was the last year the old recovery boiler was operating. A conscious decision on operating strategy and investments in process stages that previously used fossil fuel oil have also contributed to the radical reductions in air-borne emissions.
Iggesund Mill is not the only component of the Holmen Group to succeed with its environmental work. Between 2013 and 2014 carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of manufactured paperboard and paper products within the Group were cut from 123 kilos to 67 kilos. This is almost 50 per cent and demonstrates clearly that the Group has taken yet another step to reduce the climate impact of its own operations.
In recent years the Holmen Group has received a number of awards for its sustainability work. In 2014 Iggesund was given the Bio Strategy of the Year award by the industry organisation PPI. The Holmen Group was also included on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s list of the 187 global companies that are leaders in the battle to tame the climate threat.
“We’re very satisfied with this year’s outcome and I believe we’ve thereby strengthened our position as a leader in sustainability efforts,” comments Lars Strömberg, Director of Sustainable and Environmental Affairs at Holmen.
In 2013 Iggesund also commissioned a biomass CHP plant at the company’s Workington Mill in the UK. By switching its energy source from fossil fuel to biomass in a single step, the mill eliminated almost all the fossil carbon emissions from its production process. At Iggesund Mill in Sweden, bioenergy supplied 99.1 per cent of the energy used in the production process during 2014. Today the emissions from all paperboard production within the Holmen Group are within a few tenths of one per cent of being fully fossil free.
“Our strategy of investing in fossil-free technology at the mills in Sweden and the UK have been decisive steps in our sustainability work,” Strömberg emphasises. “The fact that we’ve been rewarded with top positions in various rankings and indexes proves that active work with energy and climate issues gives us a credibility that also strengthens our brands.”