Over the past four years Iggesund Paperboard has invested more than 370 million euro to improve the energy solutions at its paperboard mills in Iggesund, Sweden and Workington, England. Compared with the situation a decade ago, the company has succeeded in reducing its fossil carbon emissions by more than 260,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil sources. The reduction is the equivalent of taking 85,000 cars, each driven 10,000 kilometres a year, off the road. It is against the background of these investments that the industry organisation PPI awarded its Bio Strategy of the Year prize to Iggesund Paperboard at the beginning of October.
“Iggesund Paperboard makes no investments without weighing in the sustainability aspects,” says Arvid Sundblad, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Iggesund.
“We’re very pleased with the award but even more with the major move we’ve made from fossil fuel to bioenergy,” comments Arvid Sundblad, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Iggesund. “Of course that’s because we’re assuming our own responsibility for the climate issue but also because it will give us more stable energy costs over time.”
At the mill in Workington, where Incada is made, Iggesund has implemented a dramatic shift from fossil natural gas to biomass. A new biomass boiler was completed in the spring of 2013 and has contributed to a big reduction of Incada’s carbon footprint. Today Incada is among the folding box boards with the lowest values in this respect. At Iggesund, where the company produces Invercote, a new recovery boiler has helped to minimise the mill’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions and has also enabled the mill to often operate without using any fossil fuel at all. The goal is for the mill to be powered only by biomass and also to be self-sufficient in both electricity and heat.
“This is very gratifying,” Sundblad says. “The world is pressuring us to reduce our fossil carbon emissions and we’re living up to that. We’re thereby helping to support public policy goals and at the same time we also expect to stabilise our energy costs.”
As well as switching its energy source from fossil to renewable fuel, Iggesund has also worked to improve its energy efficiency. Producing one tonne of Invercote now requires just over ten per cent less energy than was needed five years ago. The mill in Workington has achieved a similar result. The new incineration plants are part of the explanation but so are patient efforts to continually improve the mills’ internal processes and make them more efficient. At Iggesund this process has also led to tangible improvements to the local environment.
“We’ve succeeded in reducing our sulphur emissions to air, and our particulate emissions to air by 50 per cent,” Sundblad emphasises. “This has been done from what were already low levels but it is still gratifying. For example, our mill, which dominates the municipality of Iggesund, is now only responsible for 1 per cent of the municipality’s particulate emissions.”
Iggesund Paperboard’s practice for many years has been to include sustainability issues as part of every investment decision.
“We don’t just take big steps – above all, we take many small steps because sustainability must be taken into account in every individual investment. We’re a capital-intensive industry but once the ball has been set in motion then it’s done with vigour,” Sundblad concludes.
Read more about the PPI Award at http://events.risiinfo.com/ppi-awards