At the mills, environmental and energy concerns are important aspects in the planning of production and investments. Under Statistics Sweden guidelines, the investments are divided into direct and integrated investments, and investments for economical use of energy. Examples of investments in recent years are given below.
Environmental investments include both direct (for treatment of emissions) and indirect (preventive) investments. Over the past five years, it is the investment in the new wastewater treatment plant at Iggesund Mill that has accounted for a significant share of environmental investments. In 2009 this type of cost amounted to around SEK 130 million.
Construction of a new recovery boiler with a turbine is now running at Iggesund Mill. At the same time, treatment equipment for weak gases was installed. This investment constitutes a major share of Group costs for environmental investments, totalling just over SEK 90 million in 2011.
Electricity and heat-saving investments
have been significant in recent years. The new pulp line for thermo-mechanical pulp production at Braviken Paper Mill, which started in 2008, meant that the costs of investments of this type totalled around SEK 400 million in that year.
The two major investment projects under way in the Iggesund Paperboard business area include sizeable environmentally related parts. Construction of a new recovery boiler with a turbine is now running at Iggesund Mill. At the mill in Workington, a new bioenergy boiler will be commissioned in spring 2013. These investments are intended to make more economical use of electricity and thermal energy. The investment at Iggesund Mill amounted to SEK 2.3 billion, and that at the mill in Workington it will be in total SEK 1.1 billion. The Group's environmentally related costs for investments to save electricity and heat totalled around SEK 580 million in 2012, with the main part consisting of costs linked to the above projects.
Internal and external efforts
Efforts are needed to be able to pursue ambitious environmental activities. The costs of this include environmental personnel, operation of treatment equipment, waste management, supervision, environmental training, permit applications, environmental consultants, and costs of measures when operations are discontinued. The costs have totalled between SEK 190 and 225 million in the past five years.
Environmental taxes and charges
The mills pay tax on landfilled waste, carbon dioxide and sulphur tax and charges for emissions of nitrogen oxides.
As the Swedish mills have been able to reduce their use of fossil fuels in recent years, the costs of fuel-related taxes have consequently also fallen. Environmental taxes and charges are expected to decrease further as comprehensive energy and climate-related investments are made at several mills in the Group.
The environmental costs of forestry
are estimated as the value of the wood that is not harvested for environmental reasons. Holmen sets aside around ten per cent of its productive forest acreage and thus refrains from harvesting around ten per cent of the possible volume. The annual loss of income was estimated at around SEK 93 million in 2012.
The Group's mills have participated in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme since 2005. The steps taken by the Group to reduce the use of fossil fuels and therefore carbon dioxide emissions have made it possible to sell emission allowances. The reported result varies from year to year. The result for 2011, SEK 40 million, is the highest to date.
The Swedish mills have traded electricity certificates, which are allocated to producers of renewable electricity, since 2003. Holmen has produced renewable electricity at its mills for several years. The reported result has ranged between SEK 30 and 70 million over the past five years.
Surplus thermal energy
produced at some of the mills has been sold to municipal district heating networks since a few years back.
Various types of waste arise in production. Large parts of this waste can be recycled and put to use, for example as fuel for energy production. Several of the mills sell such waste to external users, for example for energy production and construction purposes.
If officially permitted emission levels are exceeded, penalty charges can be imposed on the company that causes the emissions. The environmental and energy management systems introduced and regular checks on the industrial operations by the authorities mean that the risks of limits being exceeded can be managed successfully. For a long time Holmen has not caused any emissions that have led to penalty charges.