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Moody's: Nordic paper companies less susceptible to environmental threats than peers

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Moody's: Nordic paper companies less susceptible to environmental threats than peers

May 24, 2016 - 00:53
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FRANKFURT, Germany, May 23, 2016 (Press Release) -Nordic paper and forest products companies' location and strategy for sourcing fibre make them better able to withstand the negative effects of long-term environmental risks than their counterparts in Europe, Middle-East and Africa, says Moody's Investors Service in a report.

In its report, Moody's ranked six forest products companies against key environmental performance indicators, including energy self-sufficiency and access to "certified" or "controlled" wood, because their activities touch on many different environmental risk areas on a daily basis.

Moody's report, titled "Paper -- Europe Nordic Players Are Well Positioned to Weather Long-term Environmental Risks", is available on www.moodys.com.

"Nordic companies have much better access to "certified" virgin fibre than their peers as a result of their location. They are also less dependent on the grid for electricity and have fewer carbon emissions because they power their operations with readily available "carbon neutral" biomass," says Scott Phillips, a Moody's Vice President -- Senior Analyst and author of the report.

Nordic firms Metsa Group (unrated), UPM-Kymmene (UPM, Ba1 positive) and Stora Enso Oyj (Stora Enso, Ba2 stable) all scored higher than the UK's Mondi Plc (Baa2 stable), South Africa's Sappi Limited (Sappi, Ba3 stable) and Ireland's Smurfit Kappa Group plc (SKG, Ba1 stable) when ranked against key environmental indicators.

Nordic companies also score best in relation to the amount of waste they send to landfill reflecting their bias towards Europe, where landfill taxes are higher, which encourages greater recycling. While most of SKG's assets are also located in Europe, its weaker score reflects, in part, that the use of recycled materials can often generate a large amount of by-products that cannot be readily recycled.