The high-energy demand of the paper industry´s productive processes places this sector in the top positions when it comes to its relevance towards decarbonization. Most of the energy used by the factories in the sector is produced through efficient cogeneration plants that account for an overall installed capacity of 1,086 MW. 70% of the fuel used is natural gas and 28% biomass and biogas. The paper industry is Spain´s leading industry in terms of production and use of renewable energy from biomass.
According to data from the Sectorial Agenda of the Paper Industry, presented this year by ASPAPEL (Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Pulp, Paper and Cardboard), the European paper industry´s Roadmap 2050 includes the objective of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% and increasing the creation of added value by 50% by 2050. The European paper industry aims to lead the low-carbon bioeconomy in which the sector is a pioneer.
Meeting this goal will require an additional investment of 44,000 million euros up to 2050 in the European paper industry as a whole
Meeting this objective, through the implementation of decarbonization technologies and the development of new bioproducts production systems, will require an additional investment of 44,000 million euros up to 2050 in the European paper industry as a whole. This represents an increase of 40% of the already highly intensive investments in the sector.
Sofidel an example towards decarbonization
The sustainable philosophy of Sofidel, one of ASPAPEL´s associated companies, has already built on important tangible actions that have enabled the Group´s companies to steadily reduce the environmental footprint associated with production processes. This is an important step towards towards the company´s industrial processes decarbonization.
The company is committed to reducing its direct CO2 emissions by 23% per ton of paper produced in 2020, compared to 2009 levels
Sofidel is the first Italian manufacturer to join the WWF Climate Savers project, aimed at companies leading low carbon economy in the market, and which has particularly ambitious goals. The company is committed to reducing its direct CO2 emissions by 23% per ton of paper produced in 2020, compared to 2009 levels. This percentage represents the reduction of approximately 900,000 tons of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of a fleet of 10,000 articulated trucks traveling 10,000 km per year for 10 years. Another of the commitments is to limit the indirect emissions of CO2 caused by third parties within the value chain by 13% per ton of paper produced, compared to the values of 2010, and replace 8% of fuel consumed annually by energy from renewable sources.
To date, in its progress towards decarbonisation, Sofidel has reduced direct emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere by 20.6% thanks to investments in energy efficiency, the use of cogeneration plants and the use of renewable energy sources. Another essential area of action is the supply of cellulose from independent certified sources with forest certification schemes (FSC®, FSC Controlled Wood, SFI®, PEFC ™), which has reached a 100% level. In addition, the Italian manufacturer operates to safeguard water resources, limiting consumption within its production processes (the amount of water used in production is clearly lower than the industry benchmark: 7.1 l / kg vs. 15-25 l / kg).
Sustainability as a business engine
The importance of sustainability in the Sofidel Group´s strategic approach as a true engine for business and cultural growth is evidenced in the Sustainability Decalogue developed by the company. This set of principles highlights the main benefits expected from the application of strict corporate social responsibility policies in terms of greater economic and productive efficiency, access to financial markets and reputation.
The reduction of costs while increasing the plant efficiency by reducing energy consumption, the use of environmental resources and polluting emissions
One of the company´s Decalogue of Sustainability key points is the reduction of costs relying on renewable sources: increasing the plant efficiency by reducing energy consumption, the use of environmental resources and polluting emissions. All these factors translate into savings and better economic efficiency.
This approach is confirmed in the standards with which Sofidel measures its own growth: in addition to turnover, marginality, volume and geographic coverage, another determining factor is the social return in terms of welfare for the community.