Fossil-free production through climate-smart choices

International News

Following decades of continuous sustainability work, the production at our Fors Mill in Sweden has been fossil-carbon emission free in its electricity and steam production since 2017.

This has been achieved by moving from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas, to biofuels. Today, the journey continues towards becoming the world’s most resource efficient mill.

It all started in the early 1980s with a strategic plan to reduce the carbon footprint throughout the entire supply chain of the mill. Back then, society at large and the process industry in particular emitted large amounts of fossil carbon dioxide (CO2). However, the employees at Fors Mill had a clear vision to decrease the mill's fossil CO2 emissions and to do so with all employees onboard. 

Today, Fors Mill produces over 400 000 tonnes of board for various customers and product areas. More sustainable production processes have resulted in lower raw material consumption, reduced product weight, less transport, and lower CO2 emissions. Over the years, the mill has made climate-smart choices that make it possible to keep the proportion of biofuels at a very high level, further reducing the climate impact of its products. 

“We’ve come a long way thanks to the visionary carbon reduction agenda,” says Gunnar Sjöblom, acting Mill Director at Fors Mill. “Today, sustainable production is at the core of our operations. It is a competitive asset that we are very proud of, but the journey will not stop here. We must constantly look at what we can do to be part of the solution to climate change”.

New products that enable resource efficiency

When Performa Light, Stora Enso’s material for folding cartons, was launched in 2020, nearly 40 years since the Fors Mill carbon neutrality journey started, it represented yet another step forward. The product is a result of innovative work and a response to the market's demand for recyclable cardboard. Performa Light is produced at Fors Mill and has 70% lower fossil CO2 emissions compared to competing materials. This is thanks to the mill's fossil carbon emission-free production combined with a patented fiber treatment technology, FiberLight Tec™ by Stora Enso, which saves both energy and raw materials. 

“Our customers are placing ever higher demands and expectations for climate-smart solutions. And rightly so,” says Kristiina Veitola, Director, Sustainability, Packaging Materials. “To meet the requirements for phasing out fossil fuels, we are now accelerating the pace of change by reviewing the possibilities to further reduce fossil CO2 emissions in our operations and supply chain.”.

Further reducing the carbon footprint 

Fors Mill has followed its plan: as the latest step, the mill’s internal transport vehicles are currently switching to a bio-based diesel. With approximately 250 m3 of diesel consumed at Fors Mill annually, this means an increased fuel cost but also enables a potential further reduction of fossil CO2 emissions by approximately 500 tonnes per year. This is equivalent to around 300 passenger cars driving 1 500 km each. The Fors Mill carbon roadmap remains clear - to become the world's most resource efficient mill.

Source: Stora Enso