The Confederation of Paper Industries Supports Climate Week

March 23, 2011 (Press Release) - Papermaking is a major manufacturing industry in the UK with 55 paper mills and over 5.5 million tonnes of paper produced each year; used for everything from packaging to printing to postage stamps, according to CPI (Confederation of Paper Industries).

The paper industry has managed to break the link between increased production and increased emissions and environmental impacts. Events such as ‘Climate Week’ (which runs from 21-27 March 2011) are a timely opportunity to celebrate successes and reinforce commitments to do even more.

Paper is intrinsically sustainable, being made from renewable and recyclable resources. 73% of the fibre used in UK papermaking comes from recycling, with the balance from predominantly fast growing species from well managed forests mostly within Europe. With responsible forest management, European forests have grown by over 30% since 19501 and are increasing by an area equivalent to 1.5 million football pitches every year — an area four times the size of London! 2

Energy efficiency remains at the top of the paper industry’s agenda. Without exception, every UK paper mill has an energy efficiency plan. The efficient use of energy has always been a key issue for the paper industry as this is one of its main production costs. Mills are always looking for incremental ways to reduce energy use — better control of processes, reducing waste, better product design, using new technologies and sharing best practice and lessons.

Major investment decisions provide an opportunity to improve energy efficiency, and UK paper mills have invested heavily in the development of Combined Heat & Power (CHP), with well over half of production now coming from sites using this technology, resulting in lower emissions. CHP uses heat that would be wasted in conventional generation, meaning an overall saving as heat no longer needs to be generated by stand alone boilers. Indeed, a number of sites have gone to the next step in carbon saving by installing biomass fired CHP using waste materials and fibres that can no longer be recycled.

Through the Paper Sector Climate Change Agreement, all mills have to report their production and energy use figures to Government every two years. This continued focus on energy efficiency means that compared to 1990, an impressive 42% less fossil carbon is released for each tonne of paper produced in 2010.

1 UNECE, FAO, The Development of Forest Resources

SOURCE: Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI)