Energy intensive - not CO2 intensive

A high share of energy is required in manufacturing yet direct CO2 emissions are low, due to the high proportion of renewable energy used. Pulp and paper mills recover energy from their waste stream by using biomass as a primary energy source in the manufacturing process. As Europe's single largest producer and user of biomass energy, the paper industry is energy intensive but not CO2 intensive.

Currently 52% of all primary energy used in the industry is biomass based and therefore carbon neutral. The sector is responsible for 27% of the total production of biomass-based energy in the EU.On average, energy consumption accounts for around 16% of production costs. As such, improving the energy efficiency of the production processes has both competitive and environmental implications.

The CO2 emitted per tonne of production has decreased by 29% during the past 15 years. This improved performance is due to investment in renewable energy and innovative technology which maximise energy efficiency.

The European paper industry is the biggest user of cogeneration, a system that produces electrical and thermal energy at the same time, therefore saving energy and reducing emissions. In the paper industry 96% of all on-site generation now comes from Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units based on biomass or natural gas. This saves significant amounts of fuel compared to buying in electricity from the national grids and then producing heat for steam in on-site boilers. In fact CHP is 30% more efficient than conventional separate energy generation. As a result papermakers are more energy self-sufficient.

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