HELSINKI, May 11, 2015 (Globe Newswire) -
Stora Enso and Kemira, a global chemicals company, have started the construction work for pilot projects addressing water-related issues in three villages in Guangxi Province in Southern China. The projects are part of Stora Enso and Kemira's three-year corporate responsibility initiative on water stewardship and shared value creation. Launched in 2013, this initiative strives to enhance the responsible use of local water resources in collaboration with villagers, non-governmental organisations, and the Chinese authorities.
The aim is to improve water supply and sewage treatment, and to provide solutions for water shortages and quality problems. After the construction phase, tailor-made training will be provided to all villages. The goal is to ensure that locals have the capacity to use water responsibly in the future and to maintain the constructed water management solutions on their own.
"Responsible water stewardship is a top priority for us everywhere we operate," says Noel Morrin, Stora Enso's EVP for Global Responsibility. "In Guangxi water is a local concern that we are taking very seriously. If these pilot projects prove successful, the systems can be scaled up by local authorities and copied in surrounding communities to benefit even more people. However, the success of these projects will be defined by the villagers."
"Since the water treatment systems address local needs and will be operated by the villagers themselves, it is very important that local residents are actively involved in the projects from day one," says Riikka Timonen, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Kemira. "Our expertise is needed to ensure that the constructed systems are of good quality and easy to operate - benefiting both local people and the environment."
About the project
Water is a crucial resource for sustainable plantation forestry in Guangxi, where Stora Enso leases 85 613 hectares of land and manages extensive eucalyptus tree plantations. The pulp and paper industry is one of Kemira's key customer segments, and the company has extensive know-how in water management. By joining forces, Stora Enso and Kemira are bringing together the best expertise in forestry and water management to improve the lives and surroundings of more than 2 600 villagers in Guangxi Province. The scheme also aims to find new solutions for responsible water management through stakeholder surveys, community work, and water-related capacity building.
Baimei village water supply and sewage treatment project, Yulin region, Guangxi
Baimei suffers from water shortages that affect both the villagers and their main livelihood, poultry farming. The village also lacks a proper sewage treatment system. The project team will construct a new water reservoir measuring 50 cubic metres and lay a total of 5 400 metres of water supply pipes. This should guarantee a sufficient water supply and increase local agricultural production. To address the sewage issue, 500 meters of water sewage pipes will be laid and around 60m2 of artificial wetland will be constructed.
Nahupo village sewage system, Nanning region, Guangxi
Nahupo lacks a coherent sewage system, and the existing infrastructure needs improvement as untreated wastewater often overflows onto streets and green areas. The project will focus on wastewater management, constructing septic tanks, some 2 000 metres of drainage piping, and 500m2 of artificial wetland.
Solutions for water shortages and quality problems in Shengping village, Qinlian region, Guangxi
Shengping village has a well which during flooding often becomes contaminated with river water. The project team will deepen and renew the well, renovate the local water treatment plant, and train plant personnel to operate the plant more efficiently. Some 4 800 metres of new drinking water pipes will also be laid, bringing better quality drinking water to 2 200 villagers.