The road to decarbonisation runs through Europe

The EU and its Member States are leading the world towards the sustainable, low-carbon future agreed in the Paris Climate Accord and recently affirmed in the European Green Deal.

At Sappi, we have set ambitious targets to decarbonise our business and boldly contribute to this movement - both at global and European levels.

Our path to decarbonisation requires marshalling the expertise and ingenuity of our European operations like never before. But it is a challenge that our teams are embracing with enthusiasm and steadfast determination. Sappi Europe’s recently launched Decarbonisation Roadmap is the latest expression of this bold effort. 

The Roadmap lays out ambitious initiatives to reduce emissions and optimise material and resource use in our nine mills across Europe. It reflects over 80 projects, which will be prioritised and implemented throughout the 2021-2025 period. 

The Roadmap is currently scoped for projects occurring in the next five years. In the coming years it will be extended to 2030 and then beyond as new project ideas are developed and new insights and technologies become available. 

So, what do these projects involve exactly on the road to decarbonisation? The Roadmap has three main priorities for action.

1. Exiting Coal 

This is where the biggest impact in emission reductions is possible. By exiting coal in the three mills that still partially use this fuel, we will shift to using to carbon neutral biomass or natural gas.  

2. Green electricity 

We´ve committed to procure more green electricity from the grid where it is available.  This will reduce our Scope 2 emissions, especially at our three mills in Germany.  

3. Eco-effectiveness 

All nine mills will embark on “eco-effective” projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions on an ongoing basis, investing in state-of-the-art technology and processes.

One of the first milestones in the roadmap was reached in 2020 with our decision to upgrade Boiler 11 at Gratkorn Mill in Austria. This project will realise a shift from a coal boiler to a multi-fuel boiler in two phases with the goal to finally use only sustainable and renewable fuels. 

In the context of mitigating climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, this 10-year period ahead is known as the Decade of Action. Connect with our European Director of Sustainability, Sarah Price to learn more.