Broadly identifying the environmental impact of operations as well as discovering ways with which to mitigate negative effects form the point of departure for the forest industry’s environmental efforts. The aim is to use natural resources as effectively and sparingly as possible. Ecological efforts are steered by factory-specifically certified quality and environment systems. An ISO 14001 environment system is in place at almost all production locations, in addition to which a certified EMAS system has been set up at the majority of locations.
Finnish forest industry making determined environmental investments
The forest industry has spent almost €150 million annually on environmental protection over the previous decade. One half of this was spent on projects that improve the state of the natural environment and the rest is accounted for by operating expenses, such as the cost of running wastewater purification facilities and expenses associated with the monitoring of emission levels.
The best available technology is broadly in use at production facilities; additional investments would thus not lead to substantial improvements in the state of the natural environment. Environmental legislation, taxation and other steering mechanisms should be appropriate and cost-effective – they must not turn into a burden for well-intending actors, but should instead encourage fresh innovation.
Proportionate to production volumes, emissions have decreased strongly
The significance of implemented environment-protection investments has been demonstrated by the powerful fall in emissions in proportion to production volumes over the past 15 years. Compared to 1992, wastewater chemical oxygen consumption is down 65%, biological oxygen consumption 85%, solid matter and phosphorus emissions 75% and nitrogen emissions 50% per tonne of produced goods. The organic chlorine compound strain has reduced by 85% per tonne of produced goods.
The amount of nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere is down 30%, sulphur 80%, particulate emissions 80% and fossil carbon dioxide 40% from 1992 levels per tonne of produced goods. The amount of landfill waste has been reduced by 85% and use of process water by 50% per tonne of produced goods.
The forest industry has publicised its environmental data in Finland for 19 years.
Stefan Sundman, Senior Vice President, Energy and Environment, tel. +358 40 535 0501
Hilkka Hännikäinen, Director (Environment), tel. +358 40 502 8169
Fredrik Blomfelt, Senior Advisor (Environment),
tel. +358 40 705 7389