HELSINKI, July 25, 2018 (Press Release) -The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are the framework that governments, business and civil society use to drive the sustainability agenda. With those goals in mind, UPM Raflatac developed the Biofore Site concept and set responsibility targets for 2030 that aim to improve its environmental, social and economic performance. The aim is to build a site-specific roadmap that includes auditing, measuring and evaluating progress. The Biofore Site concept will facilitate growth of a strong sustainability culture and increase transparency.
UPM Raflatac’s labelstock factory in Nancy, France is the first UPM Raflatac factory to be certified to the ISO 50001 Energy Management System, that supports strongly transparency and growth of sustainability culture. The ISO 50001 requires continuous improvement in energy performance, which is measured in energy consumed per a million square meters of labelstock material produced.
You need technical knowledge and skills to reach the ISO 50001 targets. Accurate measuring is vital. You must know the value of each choice to make good decisions, otherwise you are blind,” emphasises Daniel Bozonnet, Manager, Environmental Market Support, UPM Raflatac
At Nancy, the ISO 50001 process began in 2013 and the certification was received in 2015. The factory’s CO2 emissions have come down an impressive 27 % since 2012. UPM has a global target of cutting down CO2 emissions 15 % by 2020 and 30 % by 2030.
Energy efficiency considered at every turn
The change has required good teamwork and a deep dive into measuring energy consumption. Mapping Nancy’s energy performance began in 2014 with the support of external energy experts. The two-day audit was the first diagnostic point in which key indicators for future measurements were defined.
“After the audit we received around 30 single proposals on what to improve and followed the project with monthly meetings with the energy team. We had around one year to prepare for the ISO 50001 audit”, Bozonnet explains.
Working together with external partners has turned out to be a major factor in finding solutions for better energy performance.
“Together, we discovered a lot of new possibilities. Could we for example use solar energy for our lighting in the future? For now, it is our general interest to move to led lighting. We have also started reusing the hot air from our production for heating our buildings. When we have a problem we can push our suppliers for a solution, and very often, they find one. Now we have a few lines written in all of our supplier contracts about providing us the best possible energy efficiency option”, Bozonnet says.
In addition, training in saving energy has been organised for the factory employees. Their involvement is important, as keeping up with the ISO 50001 requires fresh ideas even in the future.
“Our employees have been trained to cut all energy off when not using the machines. The energy saving proposals from employees are equally important, such as automatic lights in the toilets. Every single thing matters“, Bozonnet points out.
Improvements in energy counting technology
In the beginning of the process, energy performance can be easily improved by updating old equipment. As things progress however, it becomes more demanding to pinpoint which actions will have the most impact.
“Investment payback time can be anything from one year to four years. The long time span makes measuring challenging”, Bozonnet explains.
For example at Nancy, old windows have been replaced with new ones and lighting is gradually changed into led. All individual changes are documented in the yearly ISO 50001 report, but it is difficult to measure how much energy is actually saved by these small actions. Devices that measure energy consumption at home, appliance by appliance, are only now finding their way to industrial settings.
“Our factory has one measuring device for gas and electricity. We know the total consumption but not the consumption of individual machines. Often, this is the weak point when improving energy performance. This is why we are investing in the factory’s measuring systems. New technology arrives on the market all the time. The challenge is to find an approach that works for us“, Bozonnet says.
UPM Raflatac aims to label a smarter future by improving the sustainability performance of its production sites through the Biofore Site™ concept. Our sustainability actions around the world clearly demonstrate that UPM Raflatac is the partner of choice for customers, end-users, suppliers and other stakeholders.