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​As our business is dependent on this natural resource, both water availability and the impact of our water usage are of paramount importance to us.

The paper industry predominantly borrows water in contrast to consuming it. Significant volumes of water are processed, but after treatment in modern water treatment plants, over 90% of the water intake is returned to the water systems from which it was extracted.

Long-term commitment

  • Reduce the organic content discharged in our process water (COD) by one third by 2020 compared to 2010.

    The reduction is relative to the organic discharge and also measured by COD, expressed per
    tonne of paper produced.

Achievements to date

  • Between 2005 and 2013, we invested over €31 million in upgrading existing installations or building new water treatment plants in both Europe and The America.
  • Between 2005 and 2013, COD content in process water was discharged by our global paper and board system has decreased relative to production by over 25%.

We support initiatives to develop ‘water footprints’ and water stewardship standards. In 2011, we joined the Water Footprint Network, which is a frontrunner in developing such standards. We also contribute to, and are an active participant in, the development of sustainable methodology applicable to our industry.

As part of our transparency on water management, we report annually to the Carbon Disclosure Project organisation.

Long-term commitments

We are dedicated to the continuous improvement of our sustainability performance and have made four long-term commitments.

Read our long-term commitments

Case study

Read more environmental case studies