Notes different environmental debates around the world
Iggesund Paperboard has earmarked €361m to transform the energy systems at its mills in Iggesund, Sweden and Workington, England over the last 14 months. The company says it is installing the latest energy technology so that both mills will operate exclusively on biofuel.
“We’re increasing efficiency and ensuring our long-term energy supply,” says Guy Mallinson, director of sales to the graphic and packaging sector in Europe. “In this context it’s natural for us to move to bioenergy because there’s a risk that fossil fuels will become scarcer and more expensive in the future, not least due to political targets for lower fossil carbon emissions.”
However the company says that so far its biofuel focus does not appear to have particularly affected customers’ commercial preferences. “We’re not seeing that customers are choosing materials based on our environmental work or our low carbon emissions,” continues Mallinson. “However, major brand owners are insisting on getting information about our carbon footprint, even though they’re not yet communicating that information any further. But their interest does indicate that a good environmental record could become a stronger selection criterion in the future.”
Iggesund is a global company and notes that the environmental debate differs around the world. “In Britain people talk almost solely about carbon footprint, in the States the focus is on how much recycled content that companies can mix into their products, while in Asia, people are keen that the origins of raw materials are both documented and environmentally sound,” says Mallinson.
“But of course, we can’t let the current debate in any particular part of the world govern our environmental efforts. We must take a comprehensive, broad-based environmental approach, regardless of what happens to be high profile news in the media yesterday, today or tomorrow.”
Iggesund Paperboard produces Invercote, a solid bleached board, at its mill in Sweden and Incada, a high-quality folding boxboard, in the UK. When the investments are complete, Iggesund believes its paperboard mills will have the lowest fossil carbon emissions in the world.
“All our paperboard products are made exclusively of virgin fibre,” adds Mallinson. “The big advantage is that we know where it comes from and what properties it has, which is unfortunately not always the case with recycled fibre.”