Since 2005 the EU has had a scheme for trading emission allowances for fossil carbon dioxide. Holmen's paper and paperboard mills are included in the emissions trading scheme. The mills have been allocated emission allowances for the period 2013–2020. A gradual reduction in allocations will take place over that period. The European Union has made a decision on what is known as backloading, which means that a number of emission allowances have not been sold in the initial phase of the trading period; instead they will be made available in the latter part of the period extending until 2020. The aim is to increase the price of allowances in this way.
The investments and steps taken by the Group to reduce the use of fossil fuels have made it possible to sell emission allowances. The reported result varies from year to year. The result for 2016 was SEK 25 million.
Holmen takes a positive view of the initiatives that have been taken to tackle the problems of climate change. For 2020 the Group has set targets for the use of fossil fuels, i.e. indirectly for fossil carbon dioxide emissions.
Holmen has introduced certified energy management systems at all its units and has programmes to improve energy efficiency.
Under Swedish law, companies that generate renewable electricity are allocated an electricity certificate for each MWh produced. Renewable electricity is defined as electricity originating in sustainable energy sources – new hydro power, biofuel and wind power. Electricity consumers are obliged to purchase a certain number of electricity certificates in relation to their consumption, known as a quota obligation. Demand for renewable electricity will increase as this quota obligation is gradually raised. Electricity-intensive industries are exempt from the quota obligation. The system has been extended until 2030, and the target levels have also been raised.
Holmen has produced renewable electricity for several years. This has brought in revenue since the law was introduced in 2003. The reported income ranged between SEK 30 and 435 million during the 2010–2016 period. The result for 2016 was SEK 415 million. When the system was initiated there was a rule that granted rights to existing installations to produce renewable electric power with entitlement to certificates. This right expired at the end of 2012, when those installations at which large new investments have not been made will be affected. Most Holmen sites have consequently lost their entitlement to certificates. In 2012 a new recovery boiler and turbine was commissioned at Iggesund Mill. This site will receive certificates for another 15 years as electricity production increases.
In early 2013 a new bioenergy boiler and turbine were commissioned at the mill in Workington. Since 2011, green certificates known as Renewables Obligation Certificates have been issued in the UK for renewable electrical energy produced. All major electricity distributors are required to meet a quota for renewable electricity. This quota is constructed in such a way that there will always be a deficit in available certificates. The green certificates are sold by electricity producers directly to electricity distributors, or in a market. The producers of renewable electricity receive certificates in proportion to the amount of electricity produced.
Renewable electricity produced from wind power also provides electricity certificates. At the end of 2014, 17 wind turbines were commissioned at Varsvik in the Municipality of Norrtälje. The project is being run by a jointly owned company, with a normal annual production expected to be 165 GWh. Holmen is investing in wind power through VindIn and other constellations, and is investigating options for constructing wind farms on the Group's land.
The EU's climate package
Targets and activities at European level
The EU is working on developing a climate and energy strategy for 2030. In the energy field, there is a plan for reduced emissions and more efficient energy consumption. As part of this work, the EU leaders have agreed on new targets for climate and energy. Translated to the corporate sector, which includes Holmen, emissions of carbon dioxide are to be cut by 43 per cent by 2030 (base year 2005). Furthermore, the proportion of energy consumption represented by renewables should increase to 27 per cent within the same timeframe.
Holmen's operations are characterised by renewables in raw material and energy, recovery of energy and fibre, new products, and raw materials and products that bind carbon dioxide and serve as substitutes for materials that have an impact on climate. Holmen views with favour the EU's targets and action programmes. However, Holmen's ambitions in the climate and energy fields extend further.