Using renewable diesel for rail transport reduces carbon dioxide emissions from WISA plywood by a quarter

Press Release 19.4.2024 9:00 EEST

UPM Plywood and the Finnish railway operator VR have agreed that VR will replace the fossil diesel it uses with renewable diesel to the same extent as the renewable diesel used to transport plywood from the UPM Pellos mill in Finland. The agreement, together with a more efficient operating model, will reduce the total emissions of WISA® plywood transport in Finland by 24 percent.

In addition to the new transport contract, UPM Pellos has improved its rail transport operating model by increasing the filling rate of trains and improving traction efficiency, which means using one locomotive instead of two. UPM Pellos is located in Ristiina and transports plywood by rail to the warehouse in Kouvola and to the port in Kotka.

"UPM Plywood is constantly striving to reduce its carbon footprint. Emissions in the supply chain are mainly generated from raw material sourcing and product transport. The more efficient operating model for rail transport in Pellos and the introduction of renewable diesel are good examples of constructive cooperation between companies to reduce emissions in a concrete way," says Juha Vallittu, Logistics Manager at UPM.

Only about 60 percent of Finland's rail network is electrified, so it is necessary to find other responsible alternatives to electricity. This is the first HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) contract for VR's rail logistics, which will bring the customer's transport emissions to almost zero. 

"Our goal is to offer our customers responsible solutions and to continuously develop new operating models together. As other alternative propulsion technologies for rail transport, such as battery and hydrogen locomotive technology, are still in the development phase, biofuel is currently the most practical solution for non-electrified lines," says Joni Lehtonen, Commercial Director at VR Transpoint.

UPM Plywood is part of the UPM Group, which is committed to reducing emissions from its value chains by 30 percent by 2030. VR is involved in halving transport emissions by 2030 and working towards a carbon-neutral Finland by 2035. Both companies are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

For further information please contact:
Juha Vallittu, Logistics Manager, UPM, tel. +358 204 156 511

UPM, Media Relations
Mon-Fri 9:00–16:00 EET
tel. +358 40 588 3284

UPM Plywood offers high-quality WISA® plywood and veneer products for construction, vehicle flooring, LNG shipbuilding, parquet manufacturing and other industrial applications. In 2023 UPM Plywood sales were EUR 422 million and it had around 1,500 employees. –

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We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Fibres, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility, we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 16,600 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 10.5 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils.

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