Printing paper, paperboard and sawn timber constitute basic materials in people's everyday lives. The products are made from the renewable raw material provided by the forests. The Group's forests and products are helping to bind carbon dioxide and cut society's emissions of greenhouse gases.
Holmen's operations contribute to positive climate effects – partly through carbon dioxide being captured and stored in the forests and products, and partly through resource-efficient production largely running on renewable energy. Thanks to investments in company-produced energy and the development of new products based on forest raw material, the positive climate effects will be improved in the future.
Based on growth data for Holmen's forests from the past five years, it has been calculated that approximately 85 per cent of the growth is harvested each year and used for products. This means that around 495 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year is captured and stored as the forest stands grow. Over the foreseeable future, annual growth in Holmen's forests is expected to exceed the harvests, and the Group's growth target indicates that carbon dioxide storage will increase in the future.
With Holmen's investment in biofuel-based energy production over recent years, emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from its production units have decreased. Emissions for 2015 amounted to around 180 000 tonnes. Since the level of self-sufficiency in bio-based electrical and thermal energy has risen over the past few years, the need to purchase fossil-based energy has shrunk. Compared with the situation in 2010, emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from the production of purchased energy were around 240 000 tonnes lower in 2015.
Based on figures for recent years, annual emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from forestry machines, the manufacture of input raw materials and the transport of raw materials and products are estimated at around 285 000 tonnes. These emissions, together with those from the production units, represent the negative impact that Holmen's operations have on the climate.
Products and substitution effects
Sawn timber stores carbon dioxide for its entire lifetime, only releasing it when the products are burned. Holmen's production of sawn timber in 2015 equates to around 605 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide stored in products that have a lifetime of over 50 years. Holmen's sawn timber also has a substitution effect, in that it replaces construction materials with an impact on the environment. For 2015, this substitution effect could amount to around 1 100 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Paper and paperboard products have too short a lifetime for it to be meaningful to calculate carbon dioxide storage. These products, like end-of-life sawn timber, do however make excellent biofuels. Biofuel from Holmen's forests and by-products from its production also provide energy through combustion.