UPM Annual Report 2021








The risk assessment confirms that our produc tion sites are located in areas with low to medium basin risk. The tool also provides 2030 and 2050 scenarios of water risks, based on climate and socio-economic changes, to enable us to understand and prepare for future water risks and opportunities. Based on those climate scenarios, our Changshu paper mill near Shanghai is expect ed to see the greatest rise in water basin risk by 2050. In recent years, however, the mill has made substantial improvements in water efficiency. Besides improving water efficiency, the mill has also reduced its effluent load by 40% since 2008. Minimising the impact of hydropower facilities UPM Energy is the second-largest elec tricity producer in Finland and has been a hydropower producer for over a century. While hydropower is a cost-effective, renewable and CO 2 free way to generate electricity, it can also have an adverse im pact on watercourses and their surround ings. In order to minimise these impacts, we work closely with authorities and other stakeholders. In addition to the regula tory compensations, we also support and implement voluntary measures to protect and revitalise migratory fish stocks with our migrating fish programme. The programme continued in Finland. UPM submitted an application for a per mit for dismantling of a decommissioned water intake dam structures in Arvajan koski, Jämsä, and for the further fishery rehabilitation of Arvajankoski. UPM’s goal is to start the fisheries’ rehabilitation in co-operation with local stakeholders. In addition to the ongoing fish migra tion obstacle removal and rehabilitation projects, UPM is participating in practical local projects and research activities to promote fish migration. plant and sewer systems in Paso de los Toros and neighboring towns where tempo rary and permanent housing facilities have been installed.

Process wastewater volumes

m 3 /t

IMPACT • Our measures ensure that the impact of our operations on watercourses are minimised so that clean water is available for surrounding communities • Our efforts to protect and restore aquatic ecosystems enhance the quality of watercourses and the natural habitat of species living there TARGETS • Use water responsibly • Continuously reduce the effluent load and wastewater volume generated by our operations • Use only recycled nutrients in effluent treatment OUR WAY • Water-intensive operations in areas with sufficient water resources • Efficient water use with appropriate recycling techniques • Treatment of used water according to the Best Available Techniques • Returning water to its original watershed when possible • Co-operation with local stakeholders to further improve the quality of local waterways • Focus on 2030 responsibility targets CASE ASSESSING WATER RISKS USING WWF WATER RISK FILTER TOOL We first evaluated our pulp and paper mills on Water Stress Index maps a decade ago. A few years ago, we used the WWF Water Risk Filter, an online tool to assess water risks. The tool helped us conduct, measure and interpret the results of our water risk assessment and our water work more effectively. During 2021, we updated the water risk anal ysis and extended scope to all plywood mills, labelstock factories and terminals as well as new projects in Uruguay and Germany, in addition to pulp and paper mills globally.







RESPONSIBLE WATER USE Water has a crucial role in our business, from sustainable forestry to production. It is also an important source of renewable energy.




19 20




Per tonne of paper Per tonne of chemical pulp

TARGETS 2030 30% reduction of wastewater volumes from 2008 level

18% reduction achieved for the UPM average product

As a signatory of the UN Global Compact’s CEOWater Mandate, we follow recognised principles in water stewardship. We aim to use water in a way that is environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and econom ically beneficial. CDP recognised UPM an A- score for its significant actions to enhance water stewardship. The water we need for our pulp and paper production processes is circulated and reused as much as possible. 88-98% of the water we use in our pulp and paper mill pro cesses is internally recirculated, and thus only a small fraction eventually leaves the process as effluent and needs to be replaced by fresh water. Using less water also means using less electricity, fewer chemicals and less thermal energy. All effluents from our pulp and paper mills are cleaned in both mechanical and biological effluent treatment processes. We manage a global water specialist network to share best practices to get the best possible treatment results. One of our 2030 environmental targets Continuous improvement in water management

is to use 100% nutrients from recycled sources in our effluent treatment. In 2021, we continued testing several side streams from our own or other industries’ opera tions as potential nutrient sources. We also mapped potential collaboration partners for recycled nutrients UPMwide. For ex ample, UPM Changshu paper mill in China has replaced 50% of urea with its boiler desulphurisation process side stream prod uct, ammonia sulphate. Reject waters from the biogas plant were taken into regular use to replace urea at the UPM Tervasaari wastewater treatment. Testing will contin ue at several mills in 2022 (page 91). All our pulp and paper mills have a plan to reach their targets for reducing water use and effluent load by 2030. In 2021, fur ther mills started to use advanced process controls or predictive analytic models to optimise the operation of the treatment plant. Exploring new ways of working, new technologies and new partnerships with potential chemical and machinery suppli ers continued, and some of these technolo gies were piloted. For example, some mills have successfully tested a new filtration unit to further treat super clear filtrates with the target to replace warm water used

on paper machine showers. The work will continue in 2022. The UPM Changshu paper mill has de creased its process wastewater volume and COD load significantly during recent years. As a consequence, a too low incoming load has caused some technical challenges at the wastewater treatment plant. These were solved by introducing a new operat ing model that enables adjusting the pro cess conditions based on incoming COD and nitrogen. As a result, we can expect a further reduction of COD and additional energy savings. Collaboration with stakeholders Our responsible water use highlights the importance of water resources and good water management all over the world. In 2021, UPM joined a two-year project “Circular Economy of Water in Industrial Processes” together with several industrial and academic partners. The project was initiated by the Finnish innovation cluster CLIC. In Uruguay, UPM supports the Rio Negro Initiative to improve the status of the river. UPM is also funding the improvement of the municipal wastewater treatment

from 2008 level TARGETS 2030

40% reduction in effluent load (COD)

38% reduction achieved for the UPM average product





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