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Emissions from UK Paper Mills Fall

SWINDON, WILTSHIRE, UK | According to the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), figures released by the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) confirm a continued fall in emissions from UK paper mills. 2016 emissions are 3.4% lower than those in 2015, and 48.5% lower than in 2008.

While some of this reduction can be attributed to lower production, CPI says the great majority has been delivered by investment in new power generation, switching to lower carbon fuels, and a continued focus on energy efficiency.

CPI notes that papermaking is intrinsically energy intensive, and mill operators are constantly seeking ways to incrementally improve efficiency to remain competitive. All mills have energy managers and initiatives to identify and deliver energy savings through such measures as the use of new pumps, improved lighting, and better process controls. As well as these incremental changes, UK mills are also using highly efficient Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants, making much of their own electricity, and making productive use of heat normally wasted in conventional power generation.

Even with such success in reducing emissions, says CPI, the sector remains short of EU ETS allowances. In 2016, the sector was 26% short of allowances as EU Governments decided to auction available allowances, preferring to raise revenue rather than support industry

CPI director general Andrew Large welcomed the new figures. “I’m pleased to note that UK mills continue to reduce their emissions of fossil carbon. However, we remain the largest net-importer of paper and paper products in the world, with associated emissions not being counted in the UK. We look forward to working with the government to develop a new industrial strategy and to help create a business-friendly location for a growing paper-based sector. With energy being such a critical cost for key parts of the manufacturing economy, competitively priced and secure supplies of energy are a must if we are to support and grow foundation industries such as papermaking in the UK.”

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