The District of Aachen, one of Europe’s leading regions for science and research, has awarded Smurfit Kappa’s Zülpich paper mill in western Germany a prestigious innovation prize in recognition of its outstanding sustainability performance.
The AC2 Innovation Award recognises businesses that have made an exceptional contribution to innovation. Winners are traditionally drawn from the automotive or medical sectors, but the judging panel – which consisted of eminent university professors including the Chancellor of the RWTH University of Aachen and senior business leaders – created a special Jury Prize for the recycled paper facility.
Smurfit Kappa’s Zülpich paper mill impressed the jury with its sustainable and profitable operational approach. The mill operates a closed loop for production water which, due to local restrictions around returning water to the environment, ensures that zero water waste is emitted from the mill. It also captures the biogas produced from the water cycle as a by-product, and burns this for energy to power production. Finally, a multi-fuelled boiler uses unrecoverable waste to burn as fuel.
The AC2 Innovation Award coincides with the launch of Smurfit Kappa’s eighth annual Sustainable Development report, which highlights strong progress against key strategic priority areas including forest, climate change, water, waste, and people. The recognition by the District of Aachen of the Zülpich paper mill is the latest example of Smurfit Kappa’s commitment to designing and enabling truly circular systems, and to using sustainability as a driver for business value.
Smurfit Kappa Zülpich’s Managing Director, Christian Ludwig, comments:
“Smurfit Kappa Zülpich has long operated circular systems that deliberately reduce waste through innovative design, and maximise resource efficiency to offer our customers an environmentally friendly product. We are very honoured that the District of Aachen has recognised our efforts.”
In the picture: Smurfit Kappa Zülpich mill