The idea of a world with no waste may still sound quite utopian to many, but so did lots of other ideas which are now a reality. Advancing a circular economy which aims to totally “design out” waste is more than a worthwhile endeavour, it is crucial. What’s more, it also has many benefits. Resource efficiency is a core principle in the Biofore strategy and UPMhas a long history of developing processes to reuse or recycle virtually all production waste. The articles in this Biofore magazine provide concrete examples of how new and valuable products are generated from the side streams and by-products from our production processes. However this is just the beginning. We actively develop solutions based on the circular economy model, where materials and value circulate and added value is generated by services and smart operations. Moreover, we’re constantly looking for new business development and innovation opportunities by partnering with different industries, businesses, universities and research institutes to further develop and expand by-product utilisation and resource efficiency. Here at UPM, we do not want to waste a thing – especially not new opportunities! Let’s not waste a single opportunity!
Your outdoor living room Beauty , durability and easy maintenance All year long, in sun , snow or rain
BIOFORE IS UPM’S GLOBAL STAKEHOLDER MAGAZINE
Colour alternatives of fresh and modern UPM ProFi Deck
ORDER YOUR PERSONAL HARD COPY AT email@example.com
Colour alternatives of luxurious wood look UPM ProFi Lifecycle
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PRESS RELEASES AT www.upm.com/media
UPM – The Biofore Company UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our company consists of six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Paper ENA (Europe & North America) and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of responsibly sourced, renewable raw materials. They offer alternatives to replace non-renewable fossil-based materials. We develop new innovative and sustainable businesses. Biofuels, bio composites and biochemicals are based on our extensive know-how and strong position in the forest biomass sourcing and processing value chain. We live by our values – trust and be trusted, achieve together, renew with courage.
TWITTER @UPM News, www.twitter.com/ UPM News
Designed and made in Finland, Germany and USA www.upmprofi.com
LINKEDIN www.linkedin.com/ company/ UPM-Kymmene
YOUTUBE www.youtube.com/ upmdotcom
Elisa Nilsson Vice President, Brand and Communications, UPM
FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/ UPMGlobal
UPM ProFi ® Decking
1/2017 | 03
We at UPM advance a circular economy by reusing or recycling virtually all production waste. We believe that production andmaterial efficiency, renewability and recyclability are the cornerstones of a sustainable future.
Read more at www.upm.com/responsibility
04 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 05
C ON T E N T S
Henkel recycles more than 90% of its label waste 30
as part of the RafCycle pilot project.
08 IN TIME
Joss Blériot from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation believes the circular economy is the only way to maintain prosperity and stability for generations to come.
Sonja Ahvenainen is a young researcher helping UPM put nutrients to work in its biological wastewater treatment.
10 THE GLOBE GOES CIRCULAR
Joss Blériot from the EllenMacArthur Foundation believes the circular economy is the only way to maintain prosperity and stability for generations to come. 14 BIOFUELS BUZZ WITH PROMISE New legislation and increasing demand are building a solid basis for the breakthrough of the advanced biofuels industry. 18 CO-CREATING RECYCLED FERTILISER UPM is working with crop nutrition expert Yara to develop a fertiliser made from recycled forest industry side streams.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Elisa Nilsson
26 On the path to a
EDITORIAL STAFF Annukka Angeria, Sari Hörkkö, Kristiina Jaaranen, Klaus Kohler, Monica Krabbe, Anneli Kunnas, Sini Paloheimo, Maarit Relander- Koivisto, Annika Saari, Tommi Vanha, Päivi Vistala-Palonen, Jessie Yao.
42 CLEANER AND GREENER IN CHINA Cutting-edge technology is being piloted at the Changsumill as part of UPM’s ‘More with Biofore in China’ programme.
30 LABEL WASTE BEYOND THE BIN Henkel recycles more than 90% of its label waste as part of the RafCycle pilot project.
waste-free future, UPM collaborates with its waste management partners to promote the circular flow of side streams.
32 KAUKAS: A CIRCULAR FORERUNNER
PRINTING Erweko Oy
46 BEAUTIFULLY SUSTAINABLE
Chinese designers create evocative looks with recycled natural materials in the Biofore Teahouse and Taihu Stone Grada shelf.
UPM’s Lappeenranta-based integrate leads the way in the efficient use of resources and the harnessing of side streams.
COVER UPM Finesse Silk 200 g/m² PAGES UPM Finesse Silk 130 g/m² UPM-KYMMENE CORPORATION PO Box 380 FI-00101 Helsinki Finland Tel. +358 (0)204 15 111 www.upm.com www.upmbiofore.com
48 EVERGREEN PAPER
36 UPM PROFI CELEBRATES TEN CIRCULAR YEARS
22 TRASH-TO-TREASURE NUTRIENT RECYCLING
Combining emotional value with a low carbon footprint, recyclable paper remains a popular choice inmass communication.
Now in its tenth year, UPMProFi is a groundbreaking producer of innovative products made from recycled side streams.
Sonja Ahvenainen is a young researcher helping UPMput nutrients to work in its biological wastewater treatment.
38 VINTAGE VERLA
26 AROUND WE GO TOGETHER On the path to a waste-free future, UPM collaborates with its waste management partners to promote the circular flow of side streams.
The Verla groundwood and board mill is a heritage site showing how recycling has been part of Finnish forestry since the 19th century.
Now in its tenth year, UPM ProFi is a groundbreaking producer of innovative products made from recycled side streams.
06 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 07
I N T I M E
ZERO SOLID WASTE INITIATIVE AWARDED IN THE US In April UPM’s Zero Solid Waste to Landfill initiative received the Gold Award in the Midwest Region Sustainability competition challenged by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Chicago. According to the panel of judges, UPM’s initiative stands out as an excellent example highlighting Supply Managers’ responsibility to lead, drive and influence sustainability initiatives within an organisation. Jennifer Wilkerson, Director, Business Development and Marketing, UPM Paper ENA received the award from ISM Chicago Sustainability Chair Scott Daniels. According to Mr. Daniels UPM’s initiative shows that significant progress can be made by simultaneously reducing costs and supporting sustainable initiatives.
AN INNOVATION SO THIN IT VANISHES UPM Raflatac, Saimaan Juomatehdas Brewery and Aura print printing house have joined forces to develop the thin Vanish™ labelling material for aluminium beverage cans that can be recycled. Vanish allows self-adhesive labelling to be applied to beverage cans, aluminium cans to be recycled and the opportunity for beverage brands to personalise and market small batches of special brews in a cost-effective manner. Previously, the labelled cans could not be recycled because they contained so much other material besides the recyclable aluminium. The Vanish label is light enough to ensure that the quality of recycled aluminium is not affected, allowing all of the aluminium to be used again.
High standards of corporate responsibility mean lower risks. This is why we make sure that our suppliers and third parties live up to our exacting standards as defined in the UPM Code of Conduct. The new UPM Supplier and Third Party Code determines the minimum level of performance that we require from everyone working with and for UPM. We want to minimize all environmental, social and economic risks to the best of our ability. We also strive to guarantee that all of our operations are safe, and that all of our raw materials are sourced legally and responsibly. Stricter standards for suppliers
Supporting after-school sports clubs in Finland UPM is involved in a project offering as many children as possible the opportunity to participate in an after-school sports club or other recreational afternoon activities. UPM is helping local clubs and organizations with costs such as coaching fees, equipment and venue hire, focusing particularly on UPM’s largest production locations. The project is coordinated by the Finnish Olympic Committee. “We want to be involved in partnerships that have a major impact on the well-being of families and the vitality of communities. Increasing physical exercise has many benefits for individuals, and studies indicate that it also enhances learning. Children’s after-school sports clubs additionally help families structure their day-to-day lives,” says Pirkko Harrela , Executive Vice President of Stakeholder Relations at UPM.
Bio Era truck hits the road UPM’s Bio Era truck will be touring Finnish schools next autumn, introducing tomorrow’s bioeconomy and how young people fit into the picture. Using smartphones and digital technology to engage the audience, the Bio Era truck presents new products and business opportunities that are being harnessed from forests. The truck is loaded with all of UPM’s latest products, including renewable UPM BioVerno biofuel, GrowDex hydrogel, UPM Grada thermoformable wood material, as well as UPM ProFi and UPM Formi biocomposites. The Bio Era truck is part of Finland’s official centenary programme.
Adding value to the Finnish economy
According to a study conducted by the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla), UPM is the company that generates the greatest amount of added value for the Finnish economy when calculating the direct added value produced by the company itself and the indirect impact of its purchases. UPM generated 2.0% of Finnish GDP in 2015. The direct added value generated by UPM in Finland totalled EUR 1.5 billion, and the knock-on effect of the company’s purchases was as much as EUR 2.6 billion. UPM’s supply chain in Finland includes 10,000 companies and service providers; every year, the company spends approximately EUR 850 million solely on sourcing wood. ‘Added value’ is defined as the difference between the product’s final selling price and the purchase price paid for raw materials, energy, services and other intermediate products to manufacture the product.
You can now read Biofore Magazine
and other interesting stories at www.upmbiofore.com.
08 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 09
TEXT MATTI REMES PHOTOGRAPHY ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION, UPM
P opulation growth and increasing consumption are putting strain on the ecological sustainability of the Earth, as natural resources are dwindling and climate change continues its deadly march. Overcoming this sustainability crisis will require a fundamental change in direction. A paradigm shift is the only way to maintain economic prosperity and societal stability for generations to come. So believes Joss Blériot , Executive Officer of the EllenMacArthur Foundation, one of the most widely known proponents of the circular economy. “Currently we create value by consuming finite resources. This cannot work in the long term. We have to find ways to resolve the situation,” Blériot affirms. The EllenMacArthur Foundation is an independent foundation that strives to accelerate the transition to the new economic model throughmeans such as education, research and corporate cooperation. The Foundation has successfully kept the circular economy in the spotlight at events such as theWorld Economic Forum (WEF) Meetings held in Davos, Switzerland. “Over the past five years, the discussion has expanded into all forums, which is a very positive development,” Blériot notes. Growth without resource depletion According to Blériot, the linear economic model that emerged from the industrial revolution 150 years ago is being increasingly challenged. He uses this term to refer to unidirectional production processes based on the extraction of rawmaterials, production, consumption and the eventual disposal of the product. “We need to replace the old economic model with a new one that separates growth from the consumption of natural resources. We can achieve this by utilising
A global move towards the circular economy The circular economy is an environmentally sustainable approach that keeps raw materials in circulation for as long as they have value. The transition to this new economic model is still in the early stages, but pioneering companies are already utilising the opportunities it presents.
10 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 11
Significant cost savings for companies Blériot notes that the potential for companies to save costs is a significant incentive for them to move towards the circular economy. Substantial sums of money can be saved by using rawmaterials and energy more efficiently. Companies can also find significant economic potential in recycling usedmaterials and selling side streams to another operator or processing them into products that bring added value to their business. Blériot adds that it is essential to view the various parts of the circular economy as a whole instead of focusing on the individual elements. He believes that this is the only way to identify every possibility. “Business models based on the circular economy require new kinds of partnerships to be formed between companies.” Blériot believes that the new economic model will redefine competitive standings inmany industries. The companies and countries that are the first to change their ways will enjoy the strongest start. “The circular economy offers companies a great opportunity to reinvent themselves and utilise new opportunities. More and more companies are investing in research aimed at advancing the circular economy, as well as in efforts to develop new business models.” Early days for the major shift The circular economy is a hot topic on the global agenda, but major changes are typically slow to unfold. Blériot is reluctant to estimate how long it will take for the ideas being discussed to be put into practice on a larger scale. “It’s still early days for the major shift. However, a lot of positive development is already visible under the surface. No companies have become fully circular in their operations just yet, but many have begun changing their course in the right direction.” Blériot believes that governments will also play an important role in promoting the circular economy. He has noted that there is widespread support for more efficient use of resources in countries all around the world. However, progress is sometimes delayed by outdated legislation and various administrative barriers forming a roadblock for business and innovations related to the reuse of waste and by-products. According to Blériot, initiatives such as the European Commission’s ambitious Circular Economy Package prove that there is a desire for change. The package sets out a framework for accelerating the European economy over the coming years through a strategy of resource efficiency and environmental sustainability. “The Circular Economy Package may encourage companies to make strategic changes in the right direction. It could even lead to quick changes being enacted.”
rawmaterials more efficiently, recycling materials and replacing non-renewable resources with renewable ones,” Blériot states. No waste is generated in a 100% circular
development; for instance, new technology is already allowing solar power to be adopted at a much faster rate than before.
Fundamental changes in consumption Blériot emphasises that the circular economy does not aspire to downscale economic activity. On the contrary, it can even accelerate economic growth, as companies become more competitive and produce a growing range of innovations. Consumers will not be required to lower their standard of living, either. However, Blériot does anticipate major changes in consumer habits. “The nature of consumption will change, with the focus shifting away from owning products andmore towards a pay- per-use model. This means that consumers and businesses will share goods and services between them to a greater extent than they do today.” Blériot mentions transport as a positive example of this development. He believes that new concepts for ‘mobility as a service’ will lead to a significant decline in the need to own private vehicles in the coming years. One example is a mobile phone application that can be used to select the most suitable means of transport for each individual journey, seamlessly combining transport services such as buses, trains and taxis in a single package. “A car is an expensive investment that spends over 90% of the day standing still. If there are easy-to-use alternatives available at competitive prices, people will have less interest in owning personal vehicles.”
economy, as surpluses and side streams from production processes can be cascaded and used as rawmaterials by other operators in the cycle. “When the product reaches the end of its lifecycle, the materials return to circulation. They are used to manu facture a similar product or are utilised in some other way.” According to Blériot, ensuring that the product can be reused or its materials recycled in a cost-efficient way is a goal that companies will need to factor in from the initial product design phase onward. Biomass is loaded with potential Blériot believes that future developments will lead to biomass and bio-basedmaterials becoming an essential part of the circular economy and new circular innovations. “Finland is a frontrunner in this field, and the nation has a solid bioeconomy strategy. It is interesting to see what kinds of newmaterials and products will be developed using bio-based rawmaterials. Products such as biochemicals and biofuels are great examples of this development.” Replacing non-renewable energy sources with renewable ones is another integral goal of the circular economy, Blériot points out. This trend is being accelerated by rapid technological
Only 20% of all materials are recycled
The average citizen of a wealthy OECD country consumes a total of 800 kg of food and beverages, 120 kg of packaging materials and 20 kg of new clothes and shoes per year.
Only 20% of purchased materials are recycled after use.
The remaining 80% are removed from circulation and disposed of at incineration plants and landfill sites or as wastewater.
In the United Kingdom alone, recycling and processing food waste from households and restaurants into biogas, nutrients and chemicals could create new business income channels worth up to EUR 1.4 billion. Furthermore, new business revenues of roughly EUR 1,800 per tonne of clothing collected could be generated in the UK through recycling textiles.
Joss Blériot believes that new concepts for ‘mobility as a service’ will reduce the need to own private vehicles. One example is a mobile phone application that can be used to select the most suitable means of transport, such as buses, trains and taxis in a single package.
Source: Towards the circular economy, report vol. 2, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
12 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 13
TEXT VESA PUOSKARI PHOTOGRAPHY VILLE VAUHKONEN, JANNE LEHTINEN, VESA PUOSKARI, UPM; COURTESY OF THE INTERVIEWEES
Lignofuels 2017 conference participants joined an excursion to Lappeenranta to see the UPM Biorefinery in operation.
Boosting the biofuels industry
The biofuels industry is full of promise. New EU legislation, breakthrough technologies and increasing demand for biofuels and biomaterials in global markets are building solid foundations for the future development of the industry.
T he EU and national authorities have set very ambitious CO 2 emission reduction targets and a legal framework that supports the growth of biofuels and the bioeconomy in general,” explains Sari Mannonen , Vice President, UPMBiofuels. “The current trend highlights the strong role of advanced biofuels in decarbonising transport, including shared her vision of the industry’s future prospects at the 9th edition of the Lignofuels conference, which brought nearly 150 participants from Australia, Brazil, China, the US and Europe to Helsinki in early February. “Advanced biofuels have proven to be a solid, profitable business for UPM. We have excellent growth opportunities not only in fuel retail and dedicated green fleets, but in the maritime sector too,” Mannonen confirms. “There is pressure to reduce several use in jet fuels, heavy duty fuels andmarine diesel,” she adds. Mannonen
“I also agree with the mandate that the
kinds of emissions inmaritime transport as well.
Commission has set for lignocellulosic biofuels — it is definitively needed. We are talking about relatively
Solutions to reduce sulphur emissions, such as installing scrubbers on vessels, are
high volumes of advanced biofuels, so I believe that the new proposal will give producers an opportunity to move forward with their investment plans.” Exploring a biorefinery Finland, the host of the conference, is a frontrunner in exploiting lignocellulosic biomass. As a major highlight of the week, about 70 conference participants joined a bus excursion to Lappeenranta to visit the UPMBiorefinery. “Our guests were very pleased to have this exclusive opportunity to visit our one-of-a-kind plant and see a commer cial-scale wood-based biorefinery in operation. Overall, we have strong competencies in biorefining techno logies in the Nordic countries,” adds Mannonen. Mannonen is proud of UPM’s recent achievements in the biofuels industry. “Thanks to our excellent R&D we have developed a new breakthrough technology and ramped up production for market entry in a relatively short time span.”
very expensive. Renewable sulphur-free drop-in fuels therefore offer an excellent alternative means of reaching emission reduction targets,” she notes.
“I believe facts such as this will contribute to creating
sustainable foundations for forthcoming investments in this sector in Europe.” Policy matters UPM’s Marko Janhunen , Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, UPMBiorefining, also welcomes the EUCommission’s
new legislative proposal. “The core point of the proposal is that we have to increase biofuel production significantly to be able to reach the new targets. The Commission’s target is for advanced biofuels to account for at least 6.8% of overall fuel consumption, which will necessitate substantial investment in new technologies utilising non-food rawmaterials.”
14 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 15
Several laboratory tests have proved that UPMBioVerno renewable diesel can be used in current-technology buses to replace regular fossil diesel fuels without any difficulties. Switching to UPMBioVerno renewable diesel reduces CO 2 emissions by up to 80%, while also significantly cutting hazardous exhaust emissions. During 2016, UPM conducted field tests of its novel wood-based diesel fuel UPMBioVerno in urban buses together with Helsinki Regional Transport (HSL) and VTT. According to the test results, UPMBioVerno performed just as well as the best diesel fuels. A high-quality fuel such as UPMBioVerno ensures that the exhaust cleaning systems operate effectively even after driving significant mileage. Inmodern Euro VI class buses, the diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst reduce emissions to almost zero. “These buses are very clean when they use high-quality fuels in their engines,” confirms Nylund. However, many buses are still using older technology so renewable fuels are an efficient way of reducing local emissions in city traffic. HSL’s strategy aims to run the bus fleet in the Helsinki Region on 100% biofuels by 2020. HSL regards the combination of Euro VI vehicles and renewable fuels to be an excellent solution for both the climate and local air quality. A shortcut to clean transport Nils-Olof Nylund, Research Professor at the Technical Research Centre (VTT) confirms that drop-in type biofuels are seen as a shortcut to decarbonising bus services.
To fight climate change, the EU Commission presented a new legislative package in November proposing that CO 2 emissions are cut by at least 40%
by the year 2030. In Finland, the focus is on reducing transport sector emissions by increasing the use of biofuels. How do we cut CO 2 emissions?
indicates that the EU transport biofuels policy will continue after 2020. We believe that our national strategy, together with the new EU legislation, will create a solid foundation and excellent investment opportunities for companies.” From waste to fuels The new EU legislation proposal is very much about the circular economy. The aim is to increase the use of side streams, biomass and waste for biofuels and energy. Huttunen estimates that Finland could expand the use of forest biomass for producing biofuels by exploiting forest industry side streams more efficiently. “From the industrial policy point of view, it is important that we extract as much added value as possible from our forest rawmaterial.” Finland’s forests grow faster that they are harvested. “The figure for sustainable roundwood harvesting could be to up to 80million cubic metres annually. During the last ten-year period, the average removal volume has been 60million cubic metres, so harvest levels could increase from current volumes,” he estimates. Renewable energy production in Finland accounts for around 40% of final energy consumption, which is the third highest percentage in Europe. Altogether, the Finnish government aims to increase the figure to at least 50% by 2030. “We are already heading in the right direction. The idea is to cut CO 2 emissions and increase bioenergy production in the most cost-efficient way possible. In the case of the Finnish transport sector, this means increasing the use of biofuels,” he concludes.
our transport CO 2 emissions by half between 2005 and 2030,” he estimates. Currently, Finland produces around 500,000 tonnes of advanced biofuels annually. This total should increase to 1.1 million tonnes by 2030, which will require investments of around EUR 1.5 billion. Huttunen admits that in order to fill the gap there is a need for research and development, new innovations and breakthrough technologies. “In Finland, we already have highly developed processes and world-class products in this sector. Even so, there is a technology and innovation risk in this development work, so we have an investment subsidy scheme that supports the commercialisation of new technologies and demonstration plants within the non-ETS scheme.” According to the National Strategy, the annual sum of support for large investment projects in the energy field would be up to EUR 60million over the next few years starting from 2019. “The recent Commission proposal
consumption in the EU by 2030. The EU legislative process is in the early stages within the EU institutions and it will take around two years before the final directive is enacted.
“The main pathways to decarbonising transport are increasing the efficiency of the transport system, promoting low-emission alternative energy and gradually increasing the use of advanced biofuels,” explained Kyriakos Maniatis from the EUCommission’s Energy Technologies, Innovation & Clean Coal unit within the Directorate General for Energy during his conference presentation. Maniatis says that the EU transport sector accounts for about 25% of the EU’s overall emissions. “The Commission aims to promote advanced biofuels in transport by honouring emission reduction and renewable fuel obligations, but also by increasing the usage of renewables in aviation andmaritime transport.” The EU countries have already agreed on a new binding renewable energy target of at least 27% of overall energy
Aiming high with renewables
“For sectors outside the Emission Trading Scheme, the EU Commission has proposed a binding emission-cutting
target as high as 39% for Finland by the year 2030,” confirms Director General Riku Huttunen from theMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Cutting emissions in the transport sector is the main way to achieve an overall reduction in emissions for Finland. “In transport biofuels, our target is up to 30% of total fuel consumption. By increasing the use of biofuels along side other measures, we could cut
16 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 17
TEXT SAARA TÖYSSY PHOTOGRAPHY YARA, UPM, TUOMAS UUSHEIMO
The fertilising trials are being performed at Yara Finland’s Kotkaniemi Research Station using trial plots that comply with international research protocols. The trial plots are fertilised and managed in different ways. At the end of the summer, a custom-built combine harvester harvests each plots separately to enable controlled assessment of how different fertilisers affect the crop.
I n order for UPM to attain its global sustainability target of sending zero solid waste to landfill by 2030, it must find sustainable ways of recycling and reusing production side streams. In November 2016, UPMand Yara Finland, a leading fertiliser and crop nutrition expert, announced that they had been granted funding for a joint project to develop a recycled fertiliser. The two companies originally began collaborating earlier in 2016, with their first joint field trials carried out last summer. The promising project has now been granted funding for 2017–2018 by Raki2, a nutrient recycling programme administered by the FinnishMinistry of the Environment. Agriculture has a long history of harnessing side streams; since early times, fields have always been fertilised withmanure from farm livestock. What makes this joint project between UPM and Yara special is the fact that two major
The time is ripe for an industrial-scale recycled fertiliser
nation, nutrient recycling has emerged as one of the Government’s key projects. Now, if ever, is the perfect time to commit resources to fertiliser research. Finding the perfect nutrient ratio The heterogeneity of side streammasses has been one of the main problems encountered in recycled fertiliser research. The organic side stream material generated by the forest industry comes in large quantities, and is well suited for fertiliser development, but it, too, is not without certain challenges. Fertiliser researcher Raimo Kauppila fromYara Finland has been working in the fertiliser industry for over 25 years and is the company’s key expert in important strategic projects. “The bio and primary sludge fromUPM’s effluent treatment plants is relatively homogeneous organic material, but the nutrient composition is not ideal. This means that plant nutrients need to be added to the sludge to achieve the correct
the dryer type, integrating
industrial operators are pooling their expertise and resources to create a sustainable, industrial-scale fertiliser solution that specifically meets the needs of farmers. The fertiliser
the solution into the plant, and analysing the cost structure,” explains Katja Viitikko , head of the side stream research programme at UPMResearch & Development. Yara is in turn responsible for carrying out pot and field tests, organising
will be manufactured from side streams such as sludge (which contains nitrogen and phosphorus) from the effluent treatment plants of UPM’s pulp and paper mills, and possibly ash from the incineration of biomass. “UPM’s role in the project is to provide the side streammaterial and to test and design the manufacturing technology and the manufacturing plant. The most important part of the design process is developing a suitable drying solution for the sludge. This means finding a suitable heat source, selecting
collaboration with farmers, and positioning the product on the market. “In 2016, our work focused on examining the quality of the rawmaterials and searching for the best recipe and suitable technology. The results of the trials have been positive so far,” states Viitikko. Research on fertilisers made from industrial side streams such as sludge from effluent treatment plants or food industry waste has been topical for a couple of decades now. With Finland now aiming to become a model recycling
As part its commitment to sending zero waste to landfills by 2030, UPM is working with crop nutrition expert Yara to develop a fertiliser made from recycled forest industry side streams.
18 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 19
Raimo Kauppila, Katja Viitikko, Markus Schortemeyer, Leena Kunnas and Mogens Erlingson at the UPM Research Centre in Lappeenranta, Finland.
UPM and Yara are aiming to create a
fertiliser that is easy to transport and spread and provides nutrients that are ideally timed for optimal growth.
nutrient ratio,” he explains. “If the sludge were to be used as it is, dozens of tonnes
year at its Finnish plants in Uusikaupunki and Siilinjärvi, around 80% of which is exported.
Innovation as a response to future challenges
would need to be spread per hectare for it to make a difference. Our project focuses on examining which nutrients can be found in the side streams and howwe need to supplement themwith mineral fertilisers to achieve an optimal fertilising programme for the plants and create a solution that is as user-friendly as possible for farmers,” adds Kauppila. Finland has a short and intense growing season, and northern plants are able to make the best use of fertiliser nutrients at the beginning of summer. This means that fertilising mainly takes place during spring sowing, but additional fertilising may be necessary later based on plant needs. If the plants utilise all of the nutrients provided, there are no excess nutrients remaining on fields, fromwhere they could be leached into waterways. Timing is thus crucial: the plants need their nutrients at exactly the right time for optimal growth and for all of the nutrients to be used up during the growing season. “Compared to organic fertilisers, mineral fertilisers offer a couple of significant benefits, such as their high, balanced nutrient content and good logistical properties. Mineral fertilisers are easy to pack, transport and spread. UPMand Yara are thus aiming to create a fertiliser that is easy to transport and spread and provides nutrients that are ideally timed for optimal growth,” Kauppila says. The fertiliser solution will be tested at Yara’s Kotkaniemi Research Station in the summer of 2017. R&D and trials will continue in 2018. Yara Finland currently manufactures 1.5 million tonnes of fertilisers every
Global population growth and rising standards of living are pushing demand for more productive use of agricultural land. Meanwhile, climate change is turning vast areas of previously arable land into wasteland. With standards of living rising in emerging markets, meat consumption is also growing. Producing one tonne of chickenmeat consumes two tonnes of grain, while one tonne of pork requires four tonnes of grain, and one tonne of beef eight tonnes of grain. Another thought-provoking fact is that the consumption of cereal crops has grown 2.1% a year over the last five decades, while the annual population growth rate has been 1.6%. “Resource efficiency is achieved in farming the same way it is in all other industries. By 2050, we need to be able to produce 60%more food than we are currently producing. Currently, 34million hectares of agricultural land outside Europe is used for growing food for European citizens. We should take more responsibility for our own food production. We have to be able to improve crop output, but we need to do so in a sustainable way that takes into account emissions and climate impacts,” says Jari Pentinmäki , Head of Marketing at Yara Nordic. Yara is a global company whose research efforts have a major impact on how various crops are fertilised around the world and how efficiently agricultural land is utilised. “The fertiliser market is a genuinely global market. Yara’s global customer base
includes 20million farmers. Research and trials and spreading new knowledge are an increasingly important part of our business,” Pentinmäki says. The fertiliser industry tries to react to global food production challenges by developing tailored fertilisers that match the nutrient needs and growth stages of specific
way of using existing side streams. “UPMand Yara have a shared goal to develop an efficient, industrial- scale recycled fertiliser that can be used to produce clean domestic food profitably and withminimum environmental emissions. This joint project is a great example of circular economy, resource efficiency and industrial collaboration,”
PUTTING UPM’S NUTRIENT STREAMS TO WORK UPM’s Finnish production plants annually produce approximately 430,000 tonnes of organic sludge (approximately 165,000 tonnes of dry matter). This sludge contains approximately 2,200 tonnes of nitrogen, 320 tonnes of phosphorus and 370 tonnes of potassium. Biomass power plants owned either partly or entirely by UPM annually generate approximately 70,000 tonnes of ash suitable for fertiliser use. Not all waste components are inherently suitable for recycling as fertiliser: this depends on their nutrient content and heavy metal content. Some of the sludge and ash types can be used as they are, whereas others require processing before being recycled.
plants. “Recently, we have worked hard to tap digital solutions to improve the efficiency of agri cultural land and fertiliser use and to reduce nutrient
says Esa Laurinsilta , Director of Strategic Partnerships at UPM. Despite their
benefits, recycled fertilisers are not a magic cure-all: they cannot be expected to provide a universal solution both to the challenge of efficient
leaching and emissions. Our N-Sensor techno logy, for instance, is based on a plant-specific algorithm. It can read the biomass and chlorophyll level of a field and deliver precise amounts of nitrogen to optimise crop and protein levels,” says Pentinmäki. No magic cure-all The project’s goal is to make the recycled fertiliser – consisting of bio and primary sludge, ash andminerals – as efficient as any other fertiliser available on the market. One of the benefits of the new fertiliser is that nutrients harvested from trees will be returned to the soil. Fertiliser production also provides a sensible
recycling of industry side streams and the increasing need for food caused by population growth. “There is also some unfounded enthusiasm related to recycled fertilisers. For instance, food purity in Finland is at an excellent level and this should not be endangered by intro ducing foreignmatter to the nutrient cycle. Yara sees the collaboration with UPMas a meaningful project because both parties are aiming to develop a sensible, functional, responsible and sustainable new fertiliser that answers an actual market demand,” Pentinmäki emphasises.
20 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 21
TEXT SAARA TÖYSSY PHOTOGRAPHY BSAG, JANNE LEHTINEN, UPM
Sonja Ahvenainen found her calling in environmental technology. In her free time, she enjoys sports and spending time outdoors with active students from her university. She has also travelled extensively during her studies. A student exchange period in steamy Bangkok was a welcome break from the chilly Finnish climate. During her thesis project, Ahvenainen’s instructors at UPM are Corinne Le Ny-Heinonen, Manager, Environmental Support, and Marjukka Joutsimo, Senior Researcher. The project began with background work and drafting the written part of the thesis. The actual tests will last one or two weeks and will be performed at the UPM Kaukas mill this summer.
Corinne Le Ny-Heinonen and Sonja Ahvenainen
B y any standards, the forest industry is a major consumer of water. For decades, effluent treatment and efficient water consumption have been a major focus for the entire industry, not least for UPM. However, UPM is now taking a new leap forward by introducing recycled nutrients in its effluent treatment process, first in Finland, and then at all UPM locations. Finland has exceptionally abundant groundwater reserves of very high quality. However, the Baltic Sea surrounding Finland’s southern and western coast is badly polluted. This pollution is partly caused by nutrients that have been washed into the sea from agricultural land and industrial facilities over the past decades. The countries responsible for this pollution include Finland, the other Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic countries. “The nitrogen in industrially produced nutrients is captured from the air in a process that consumes a great deal of energy. Phosphorus, in turn, is mined as phosphate rock, which is an exhaustible resource. The same phosphorus could also be used as a fertiliser in food production. If the nutrient side streams
from industrial and agricultural processes were recovered, they would not end up in the sea. Nutrient recovery is also a matter of sensible recycling: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” says master’s student Sonja Ahvenainen , who will spend this spring and the coming summer performing nutrient recycling tests as part of her master’s thesis project. The tests will be performed at the UPMKaukas mill in Lappeenranta, Finland. Work is being done on several fronts to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. One of the leading organisations in the field is the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), which encourages companies and farmers to commit to protecting the Baltic Sea. The foundation also offers a support network for projects promoting the mutual interests of the Baltic Sea marine environment, companies and farmers alike. UPMhas already made three commit ments to the foundation. Two of them have already been fulfilled in separate projects. The first project involved research on the use of biochar mixed soil for filtering impurities fromwater washed from agricultural lands into
Instead of polluting the Baltic Sea, nutrients could be put to work in biological effluent treatment. UPM is among the frontrunners switching to recycled nutrients in its wastewater processing.
Trash becomes treasure through nutrient recycling
22 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 23
The UPM Kaukas mill integrate produces pulp, magazine paper, sawn timber and biofuels. UPM Kaukas is also home to UPM's largest research and development centre.
BSAG The Baltic Sea Action Group (Foundation for a Living Baltic Sea) works to restore the ecological balance of the badly polluted Baltic Sea. The foundation works closely together with both companies and farmers to achieve their goal. As one of BSAG’s partner companies, UPM has made three commitments to the organisation, two of which have been fulfilled earlier. The third commitment is discussed in this article: that of replacing all nutrients in UPM’s wastewater processing with recycled nutrients.
The Baltic Sea is the youngest sea on our planet and the second largest body of brackish water, a mixture of seawater and fresh water. Few species flourish in brackish water. The average depth of the Baltic Sea is 55 metres.
the city of Rauma began the co-treatment of industrial andmunicipal wastewaters. “A tanker delivers recycled nutrient solution to the UPMRauma mill twice a week. This gives you an idea of how massive the required nutrient volumes are. The recycled nutrient, be it solid matter or a solution, should be sourced fromnear the site. Long-distance transport is not sensible from a financial point of view, or in terms of carbon dioxide emissions," Ahvenainen says. In future, some of the recycled nutrients may come fromUPM’s own side streams, but total self-sufficiency is not a feasible option. “There are nutrients being cycled in production, but recovering nutrients fromwastewater is a more viable option. However, there is still a long way to go before this can be implemented,” Ahvenainen points out. Ahvenainen dreamt of studying medicine. However, when she began her studies at Lappeenranta University of Technology in 2013, she immediately knew that Environmental Technology was the right choice. After her first year at university, she landed a summer job at the laboratory Theory meets practice While still at upper secondary school,
the Baltic Sea. The second project involved updating UPM’s list of chemical substances harmful to aquatic life. The third commitment is currently in progress, seeking new ways of using only recycled nutrients at UPM’s biological wastewater treatment plants by 2030. How can we do this? The market for recycled nutrients is evolving but, for the time being, it is very scattered. How can a sufficient amount of nutrients be sourced? How will mill infrastructure and logistics adapt to the change? Sonja Ahvenainen has been seeking answers to these questions during her previous stints working for UPM, and this summer her background work will culminate in practical field tests. The purpose of these tests is to examine how selected recycled nutrients behave in effluent treatment. The tests will be performed at the UPMKaukas site, but Ahvenainen will also explore whether the process could later be applied at other UPMmills in Finland and abroad. The research forms part of her Master’s thesis. “Last summer, I worked on deter
The market for recycled nutrients is evolving but, for the time being, it is very scattered.
of the UPMKaukas paper mill in Lappeenranta. The following summer, she worked as a summer trainee for the environmental manager of the same mill. In the summer of 2016, she was hired to write a preliminary report on the use of recycled nutrients in effluent treatment. This time, her workplace was at UPM Biofore House in Helsinki. This spring is a milestone in her work, marking the launch of the actual testing phase of her study. “When the project began last summer, I was very excited to be involved in work that will have a real impact. Nothing is more important than working towards a cleaner planet. Working at UPMhas been a great experience. All the environmental specialists have their own area of expertise and they are unbelievably knowledgeable,” she describes. UPMand Ahvenainen have an interesting spring and summer ahead of them, together seeking solutions for a cleaner future – and the early chapters promise exciting results. Good luck to all involved!
mining where recycled nutrients are available, how large the required volumes are, and whether their use is at all feasible. I contacted potential nutrient providers directly. These included agricultural and industrial biogas plant operators andmunicipal wastewater treatment plants. Based onmy research, the global utilisation of recycled nutrients should be possible by 2030,” Ahvenainen says. UPM Rauma: a model mill Recycled nutrients are already being used at the UPMRauma paper mill, where one of the nutrient sources is reject water from a biogas plant. Biological treatment has been used to process all forest industry wastewaters in Rauma since 1991. In 2002, UPMand
THE RAKI ECOSYSTEM
The RaKi Ecosystem is a collaborative network that aids its partners in creating sustainable and competitive business models focused on nutrient cycling. Dozens of companies in Finland belong to the network. The programme was started by BSAG around a year ago as a means of promoting BSAG’s decision to focus on nutrient cycling four years ago. BSAG coordinates these activities and is able to provide support in piloting and productisation. “We have been very happy to see the programme make such pleasing progress. When nutrient recycling becomes an economically feasible business, nobody will want to dispose of nutrients in natural bodies of water,” says Marja Koljonen, Programme Director from BSAG.
24 | BIOFORE
1/2017 | 25
TEXT SAARA TÖYSSY PHOTOGRAPHY FORTUM, LASSILA & TIKANOJA
both regarding the recycling rate of materials and our future development efforts,” adds Tervo. “Overall, the sourcing of industrial waste management services is becoming more andmore professional, with companies seeking innovation and better practices during each round of negotiations. The forest industry has
Around we go the shape of future waste management
long stood out as an excellent recycler. The industry is exceptionally knowledgeable about managing material streams, as integrated mill sites have been recycling side streams internally for decades,” says
As we move toward a waste-free future, the challenges of waste management can only be solved by open, cross-industrial partner networks. UPM works together with its waste management partners to promote the circular flow of side streams.
Tero Svinhufvud , Vice President of Sales at Fortum.
Balancing technology, finances and regulations
Solutions already exist for the reuse of most industrial side streams. The challenge lies in balancing regulations against financial considerations, technology and practices. On the road to zero landfill waste, the problems associated with these four categories are relevant both to UPMand waste management specialists. The four are also closely interlinked. Of these four categories, the ‘practice’ part is the easiest to tackle once all other challenges have been solved. “The recycling requirements of industrial companies are constantly being influenced by the consumer market. The goal of the circular economy and the biological and technical material cycle is for waste to be reused as rawmaterial as close to its source as possible. However, this will not take place overnight. The change will require solutions that take into account both financial imperatives and technical solutions,” says Tervo. “Apart from badly contaminated soil, all materials can already be recycled, but often the costs are too high to make the process viable. It is essential that
T he disposal of UPMwaste at landfills will end in Finland within only a couple of years. The same target will apply globally by 2030. This presents a number of challenges, some of which can be solved quickly by taking immediate action, but others require a long-term approach, a newway of thinking, and a vast partner network. UPM’s Zero SolidWaste to Landfill project aims to find sustainable end uses for five different production side streams: ash, sludge, green liquor dregs, bark sand, andmixed waste. In the challenging task of utilising these side streams more efficiently, UPM’s waste management partners play an important role, starting with the meticulous sorting andmonitoring that this requires.
even unstable markets.
In Finland, UPM’s day-to-day waste management is handled by two companies: Lassila & Tikanoja, and Fortum. Lassila & Tikanoja provides a variety of services, including waste management, property maintenance, cleaning, environmental construction and process cleaning. They also supply UPMwith recyclable rawmaterials in the form of waste paper collected from households and businesses. Fortum meanwhile handles UPM’s hazardous waste collection and treatment throughout Finland. Both companies have a comprehensive portfolio of process industry customers in Finland. Fortum also serves businesses in the Baltic region, and Lassila & Tikanoja offers real estate services in Sweden and waste management and recycling services in
Their facilities are typically streamlined and they are making a constant effort to improve efficiency. It is our job, then, to anticipate the needs of our customers so that they can focus on their core business,” says Antti Tervo , Vice President, Industrial Services
What kind of role do these companies currently play in solving the challenges of UPM’s side stream recycling – and how will their role change in the future? The
direction is clear: Waste management companies will make an increasingly important contribution as expert consultants. Their service models, too, will evolve in step with changing customer needs. The future will see a growing degree of cross-industrial collaboration to promote the circular economy. “Our industrial customers often operate in challenging and sometimes
at Lassila & Tikanoja. “The current trend is clear: resource andmaterial efficiency are becoming increasingly important in industry. Both industrial companies and their service providers need to respond to this trend. This is why we have set clear targets for our partnership with UPM,