Regulatory frameworks and standards
All production units at Ahlstrom-Munksjö adhere to applicable local, national and international regulations and standards. Regarding input raw materials, there is a special focus on wood-based fibers, and chemicals.
EU regulation 995/2010, also known as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), lays down obligations for "operators" who place timber and timber products in the market of the European Union. The regulation prohibits placing illegally logged wood and wood-based products on the EU market and requires operators to have a Due Diligence System to prevent this from occurring. The law has been effective as of March 3rd, 2013. Ahlstrom-Munksjö is an "operator" for the pulp it brings from outside the EU to its production facilities in Europe.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö operates due diligence regarding legality of all purchased pulps, not only the pulp imported to the EU. This is for the purpose of meeting U.S. Lacey Act and the Australia Illegal Logging Prohibition Act requirements. On request, Ahlstrom-Munksjö can provide information on country of origin and species used. As part of the due diligence, all products meet at least the FSC Controlled Wood criteria or are FSC certified.
The European Regulation on Chemical substances 1907/2006, also known as REACH (Regulation, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals), came into force in June, 2007. No substances from the Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list are intentionally added and, to the best of our knowledge, the wood-based pulp and paper from Ahlstrom-Munksjö does not contain any of these substances above permitted levels.
At Ahlstrom-Munksjö we constantly work to improve our environmental performance, seeking new ways to improve resource efficiency, reduce costs, and lower emissions. Each production unit uses internationally recognized management systems from standard-setting organization, such as ISO, FSC®, and PEFC™. The majority of the units operate under management systems certified according to ISO 9001:2008 (quality) and ISO 14001:2008–2009 (environment). The production units may have additional management systems and certifications depending on the products or production unit needs. Some examples of other certifications include: ISO 50001, ISO 2200, ISO 13485, ISO 22000, IPPC, TS 16949 and EMAS. Please visit the Publications and Certifications page to find a specific production unit’s certificates.
Energy efficiency is a critical environmental performance indicator at Ahlstrom-Munksjö. Our approach is to manage, and reduce when possible, the energy consumed per ton of product. Key production units utilize individual energy management systems and implement energy savings projects. These activities have an impact on the cost of manufacturing, while also reducing direct and indirect air emissions. In the production units, energy is assessed using both the input of electricity and heat energy.
To help combat climate change, Ahlstrom-Munksjö is committed to continuously reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particles are also measured and addressed at local level. Ahlstrom-Munksjö uses a variety of energy sources, including natural gas, oil, coal, biofuel, hydropower, wind and solar energy. Although renewable energy is not always feasible, we seek to use a mix of cleaner burning fuels: more natural gas and less oil, coal and secondary fuels.
The main vehicle in the production process is water. At the beginning of the paper making process, suspension consists of only 1–4 per cent fibers in order to shape the properties of the paper for the intended purpose. Water scarcity is a growing threat in certain geographical areas and therefore is a key factor for operations in those areas. Significant water savings have been achieved at production units by identifying and eliminating losses in e.g. pipe insulation, and by recycling process water back into the plant.
At Ahlstrom-Munksjö, the goal is to have zero waste to landfill. This means that each production unit is responsible for reducing the amount of waste produced and for recycling or burning waste when possible. Waste management is highly dependent on the type of product and the nature of raw materials.
The most important raw materials for production are the different types of fibers. The majority of these are from renewable sources, such as wood pulp, abaca, cotton linters, jute, sisal and flax. Other key raw materials are synthetic fibers and chemicals.