MADRID, Spain, June 7, 2021 (Press Release) -Ence’s biofactory in Navia has renewed the voluntary European EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certificate, a community regulation of eco-management and eco-auditing that promotes the continuous improvement of the environmental behavior of organizations, and in which this plant is a pioneer in the Asturian industrial sector. In addition, and also through the same audit process, it has been guaranteed that the biofactory complies with the ISO 14.001 certification of environmental management systems.
Both recognitions are based on the improvement of the environmental performance of Ence’s facilities in Navia in the last year after the investments made for the technological optimization of the biofactory. Thus, the specific consumption of water has been reduced by 11%, the quality of the effluent has been significantly improved and the ratio of total particle emission per ton of pulp produced has been reduced by 25%, maximizing the concept of circular economy. with the recovery of 98% of the waste produced, among other parameters. In addition, this past May, the plant reached efficiency levels at historic highs for the production of cellulose and renewable energy.
This environmental improvement in the biofactory is directly related to the promotion of sustainable forest management that the company is leading in Asturias, in order to supply wood certified by the most recognized international standards. Thus, Ence directly manages nearly 2,000 hectares of forest masses in Asturias. Within its forest management, the company applies criteria to promote the economic and social development of its surroundings, while working to guarantee conservation from an environmental point of view.
Both in Asturias and in the rest of the territory, Ence is committed to the certification of sustainable forest management: more than 85% of the area under direct management is certified by the most recognized international standards. In addition, the company aims to be a benchmark in the sector, extending this priority to the entire mountain value chain. Thus, almost 80% of the wood used by the company in its biofactories has some certification of sustainable forest management.
The latest investments in the Navia biofactories have further strengthened Ence’s leadership and dynamic role in the Northwest forestry sector. It is estimated that the plant currently generates a total of 6,900 jobs, between direct, indirect and induced, of which 2,900 are directly within the forestry sector.
It is a job intrinsically linked to the rural environment, and which allows creating wealth and establishing a population in the face of the phenomenon of “Empty Spain”. The forestry sector has therefore become a sustainable, viable and future-oriented alternative for generating employment for the most affected areas within the just ecological transition. With more significance in a region with a long mining tradition such as Asturias, where in recent years numerous mines and coal-related power plants have been closed, with the consequent loss of hundreds of jobs.
On the other hand, the cellulose and renewable energy production activity in the Navia biofactory from local wood and with certified sustainable forest management has positive environmental effects. It allows to put on the market natural, renewable and recyclable products that can replace materials based on fossil fuels, such as plastics.
Ence’s new investment projects for the shipping plant, totaling 495 million euros, are aimed at growth and diversification of production towards cellulose for textile and absorbent products. These plans will allow the forestry sector of the Principality, together with Ence, to become a reference within the bioeconomy, providing through its wood bioproducts derived from natural fibers, called to be the protagonists of the new and most necessary consumption models than ever in society.