Smurfit Kappa has completed a large-scale sustainability project at its Zülpich, Germany, paper mill, which reportedly significantly reduces the plant’s CO2 emissions. The €11.5 million investment included a major redesign of the plant’s multi-fuel boiler to provide a more sustainable fuel source for the generation of steam and electricity.
The mill, which produces approximately 500,000 tons of paper annually, is now powered by a combination of its own biogas, which is a by-product of its circular water treatment plant, natural gas, and the residual materials or so-called ‘rejects’ which occur in the paper recycling process that would otherwise be considered waste.
The project reduces CO2 emissions at the Zülpich paper mill by more than 25 percent and saves 55,000 tons of CO2 annually, which represents a 2 percent reduction in Smurfit Kappa’s global CO2 emissions. Smurfit Kappa has the goal of achieving a 55 percent intensity reduction in fossil CO2 emissions by 2030 and at least net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The packaging provider has also had its 2030 emissions reductions targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative as being in-line with the Paris agreement.
The Zülpich circular approach is also said to extend beyond its own operations to create loops with Smurfit Kappa’s Parenco and Roermond paper mills in the Netherlands. The rejects from Parenco and Roermond are reportedly a valuable source of fuel for Zülpich’s boiler.