Story | 04/26/2023 06:22:49 | 3 min Read time

UPM's plywood production CO2 emissions are decreasing rapidly

UPM Plywood has been working to combat climate change for a long time by moving away from fossil fuels. Future measures will reduce the fossil CO2 emissions generated in the production of WISA plywood to even lower levels. In purchased electricity, for example, the aim is to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2024.

WISA plywood is a material that acts as a carbon storage and has very low fossil CO2 emissions over its life cycle. UPM Plywood is committed to UPM's target of reducing its own CO2 emissions by 65% and supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030. To achieve this goal, a fossil-free production plan, known as the carbon roadmap, has been created for the plywood mills. Thanks to the planned measures, customers can be confident that fossil CO2 emissions during the life cycle of WISA plywood will continue to decrease even further. 

The 65% reduction target covers CO2 emissions from UPM Plywood´s own energy production and purchased electricity. According to Janne Hämäläinen, UPM Plywood's Energy Director, the company’s plywood mills produce heat and electricity needed in the production of WISA plywood mainly from wood-based residues, such as bark and wood chips. 

In addition to their own energy production, the mills use purchased electricity. The majority of UPM Plywood's carbon footprint is made up of purchased energy, which is classified as scope 2 according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology. 

"Therefore, it has been a priority to focus on minimising scope 2 emissions. In 2022, the Otepää mill in Estonia switched completely to CO2-free purchased electricity, and the zero emissions from the unit's purchased electricity significantly reduced the emissions of UPM Plywood as a whole," Hämäläinen says.  

 

Similarly, the plywood mills in Finland aim to be CO2-free for purchased electricity by 2024. 

Biogenic fuel accounts for more than 90 per cent  

Emissions from UPM's plywood mills' own production are in scope 1. According to Environmental Manager Sanna Kontinen, in 2022, more than 90% of the energy required for UMP Plywood’s own production in both Finland and Estonia was produced with biofuel, i.e. wood by-products that do not produce fossil CO2 emissions. 

"Our goal is to continuously reduce the use of fossil fuels and find new ways to increase the share of biogenic fuel to well over 90% by 2024," Kontinen says.  

According to Hämäläinen, fossil emissions are only generated in exceptional cases, such as when steam production requires the use of back-up boilers during breakdowns or maintenance outages. 

"In 2022, we were able to completely abandon the use of peat as a fuel for back-up boilers at the Savonlinna mill," Hämäläinen says. 

Climate action at UPM’s plywood mills is already well underway. Over the past few years, significant emission reductions have been achieved, and the determined work continues through the concrete measures laid out in the carbon roadmap. 

This article is part of our new Plywood Beyond Fossils series. The series presents concrete measures UPM Plywood is taking to help mitigate climate change. Read more on our Responsibility Made Easy website. 

Text: Anu Ritvanen

 
 
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