Ratcheting up pulp integration in Ehingen mill, Germany

With innovation and ingenuity, we are making our mills eco-effective worldwide — reducing waste, emissions and maximising material and resource use at every opportunity. At Ehingen mill in Germany, we achieved a big eco-effective ‘win’ in 2019 by substantially increasing the amount of pulp we produce at the mill instead of purchasing it on the market.  

This substitution known as ‘pulp integration’ leads to many eco-effective benefits by avoiding carbon-emitting transport and reducing the refining and use of never-dried pulp. In the end, we succeed to increase pulp integration from 73% to 77%.     

Challenging assumptions  

Prior to this achievement, pulp integration had declined at Ehingen due to the perceived need for specific pulp qualities only attainable with market pulp. By challenging our assumptions related to fibre length and runnability, the team developed an innovative solution that delivered pulp integration with multiple benefits for environmental performance and product quality.  

 Innovating for eco-effective impact 

Without the need to transport market pulp, Ehingen avoided more than 3 million ton-kilometres of rail transport and 13 million ton-kilometres of sea transport. All combined, the environmental impact included a savings of 4.273 tons of steam, 553 megawatts of electricity and 501 tons of carbon.  

Even more, Ehingen also increased the quality (dimensional stability) of its graphic paper grades and achieved a production record. In recognition of these achievements, the team at Ehingen was awarded Sappi’s European Technical Innovation Award in 2020 in Vienna. Expect even greater eco-effective wins from this team in the future!