Progroup’s paper factory PM2 and RDF power plant in Eisenhüttenstadt have once again been awarded the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certificate from the European Union. This is an eco-management system with which companies pledge to reduce their energy consumption, save valuable resources such as water and minimise residues (waste materials).
Sustainable business with the recycled product corrugated board
In Eisenhüttenstadt, Progroup produces containerboard from which the company manufactures corrugated board at eleven sites in Europe. There is a particular focus on the theme of sustainability. “Not a single tree is felled for the production of paper at PM2. We only ever use recovered paper,” says Philipp Kosloh, Chief Operation Officer on the Board of Progroup. What is more, fewer fibres are required to manufacture the containerboard in the highly efficient and specialised production facilities. The Next Fibre products (containerboard) and Next Board products (corrugated board) that are produced have the same strength as conventional corrugated board formats, but are much lighter. This means they require less space, resulting in fewer truck journeys and lower CO2 emissions.
The corrugated board end product is recyclable and can be returned to the loop because consumers recycle their waste. To limit the use of fossil resources, Progroup operates an RDF power plant which supplies power to the paper factory at its Eisenhüttenstadt site. This is where the impurities contained in the recovered paper as well as sludges which are produced in the adjacent public wastewater treatment plant are thermally utilised. This produces the process steam that is needed for papermaking with reduced use of fossil fuels – CO2 is saved.
Nature conservation as a requirement of EMAS: The paper factory site as a semi-natural area
As well as conserving energy and resources, EMAS also includes requirements for nature conservation. To meet these requirements, Progroup has for example attached nesting boxes to the RDF power plant buildings and provided nesting aids for jackdaws on a municipal plot of land in the Oder-Spree district. In addition, over an area of 14,000 square metres at the company’s premises ecological planting has been used to create semi-natural areas which are not managed, and are currently given over exclusively to animals and insects.
PM2 and the RDF power plant have been pursuing the EMAS goals since as early as 2008 when EMAS certification was achieved during the planning phase for the paper factory. In a public statement, Progroup provides information annually about the implementation of the EMAS measures and has them reviewed by independent, government-accredited auditors. A recertification audit is conducted by an accredited environmental expert every three years. This process has now been gone through successfully again.