Iggesund Paperboard has been awarded the Bio Strategy of the Year prize by the industry organization PPI.
Commenting on the award, Arvid Sundblad, vice president sales and marketing, said the company was very pleased with the award but even more pleased with the major move it had made from fossil fuel to bioenergy. “Of course that’s because we’re assuming our own responsibility for the climate issue but also because it will give us more stable energy costs over time,” he said.
During the past four years Iggesund Paperboard has invested more than €370 million to improve its energy strategy at its paperboard mills in Iggesund, Sweden, and Workington, England.
Compared with the situation a decade ago, the company said in a press note, emissions were down by more than 260,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil sources. The reduction was equivalent to having taken 85,000 cars, each driven 10,000 km a year, off the road.
At the mill in Workington, where Incada folding box board was made, Iggesund had implemented a dramatic shift from natural gas to biomass. A new biomass boiler had been completed in the spring of 2013 and had contributed to a big reduction in Incada’s carbon footprint. Today, Incada was among the folding box boards with the lowest carbon footprints.
At Iggesund (the site of the Swedish factory), where the company produces Invercote, a new recovery boiler had helped to minimise the mill’s carbon dioxide emissions and had enabled the mill to operate often without using any fossil fuel. The goal was for the mill to be powered only by biomass and to be self-sufficient in both electricity and heat.
“This is very gratifying,” Sundblad said. “The world is pressuring us to reduce our fossil carbon emissions and we’re living up to that. We’re thereby helping to support public policy goals and at the same time we also expect to stabilise our energy costs.”
The press note said that as well as switching its energy source from fossil to renewable fuel, Iggesund had worked to improve its energy efficiency. Producing one tonne of Invercote now required just over 10 per cent less energy than was needed five years ago. The mill at Workington had achieved a similar result.
The new incineration plants were part of the explanation for this reduction, but so were efforts continually to improve the mills’ internal processes and make them more efficient. At Iggesund this process had led also to tangible improvements to the local environment.
“We’ve succeeded in reducing our sulphur emissions to air, and our particulate emissions to air by 50 per cent,” Sundblad said. “This has been done from what were already low levels but it is still gratifying. For example, our mill, which dominates the municipality of Iggesund, is now only responsible for one per cent of the municipality’s particulate emissions.”