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European Paper Industry Cuts CO2 Emissions by 42% since 1990

EuropeanpaperindThe European paper industry has reduced CO2 emissions per ton of paper produced by 42 percent since 1990, according to the Confederation of European Paper Industries’ (CEPI) fourth Sustainability Report (PDF).

The paper industry was the only industrial sector to reduce emissions under the EU Emissions Trading System in 2008 compared to 2007, according to CEPI. CO2 emissions covered by the system totaled about 37 million tons in 2008.

The industry also reduced SO2 emissions to 0.29 kg per ton of product in 2008 from 0.33 kg/t in 2007 and 1.69 kg/t in 1990. Although specific NOx emissions increased slightly to 0.84 kg/t of product in 2008 from 0.82 kg/t in 2007, it’s down from 1.31 kg/t in 1990.

The report also shows that primary energy use was cut by 2.9 percent. More than half — 55.5 percent in 2008 — of the energy consumed by the industry comes from biomass, with nearly all of the remaining 40 percent from natural gas. About 94 percent of the industry’s electricity is produced from combined heat and power (CHP).

The absolute water consumption of the European pulp and paper industry in 2008 is 220 million m3. A mill in Madrid will be the first in Europe to manufacture paper from 100 percent recovered paper using 100 percent recycled water. Studies and pilot trials are underway to evaluate the scope of reusing the mill’s own treated effluent.

Eighty-two percent of company-owned/leased forests in Europe are certified by independent forest certification schemes. This is lower than last year due to forest sales by companies, according to the report.

The industry’s 66.6-percent recycling in 2008 has already exceeded its 2010 target of 66 percent.

Environmental groups ForestEthics and Dogwood Alliance conduct an annual report card of office supply product companies about their paper practices to protect the environment and the world’s forests. In August, office retail stores FedEx Office and Office Depot earned top grades in the latest Green Grades office supply report card. Last year, the scorecard noted that Staples and FedEx Kinko were making the biggest progress.

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One thought on “European Paper Industry Cuts CO2 Emissions by 42% since 1990

  1. Yet another example of the potential of combined heat & power to transform the energy side of an industry. We could do more of this in the U.S. too if the regulations weren’t stacked against efficiency. I’m associated with Recycled Energy Development (recycled-energy.com), which does this kind of work, and the potential is truly staggering. Denmark gets over half of its energy from CHP, and studies done by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (and others) suggest the U.S. potential is at least 20%. For now, though, our number languishes in the single digits, leading to higher costs AND greenhouse gas emissions.

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