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 two major investment projects that have now been completed in the Iggesund Paperboard business area have included sizeable environmentally related elements. Construction of a new recovery boiler with a turbine is now running at Iggesund Mill. At the mill in Workington, a new bioenergy boiler and turbine were commissioned in early 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. The costs for 2013 amounted to around SEK 300 million, including environmentally related elements of the biofuel boiler at the mill in Workington and the environmentally related cost of erecting wind turbines in Varsvik in the Municipality of Norrtälje.
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 a result of comprehensive energy and climate-related investments that have been and are being 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 84 million in 2013.
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. Holmen has produced renewable electricity for many years. Participating in electricity certificate trading has generated revenues from this. In Sweden and the UK, Holmen takes part in voluntary programmes for energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. The reported result has ranged between SEK 30 and 285 million over the past five years. The highest result was achieved in 2013 with the commissioning of the new biofuel boiler in Workington.
Sale of surplus thermal energy and by-products/waste
Surplus thermal energy produced at some of the mills has been sold to municipal district heating networks since 2009.
Various types of by-product/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 by-products 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.