“The amount of organic material we release into the Baltic Sea has been reduced by over 40 per cent, but perhaps even more positive is that the amounts of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus have fallen even more,” Mallinson says. “The Baltic’s marine ecosystem suffers badly from eutrophication, so our reduced release of fertilisers is perhaps our most important achievement of all.”
He has seen how the discussion about emissions from pulp and paper industries has moved from focusing on local issues to becoming more global. The emissions from Iggesund’s mills are no longer any problem from a local perspective, but fossil carbon emissions are definitely still a global problem. In a parallel development, powerful interest groups exist who want to make water usage into a similar issue.
“We have an excellent supply of fresh water and have never had a shortage – Sweden’s topography guarantees that,” he explains. “We also use the water immediately before it reaches the Baltic Sea, and we put it back in a purified form. Our water usage does not conflict with anyone else’s, and no one has to stop using water because we are a big user – or, to be more precise, a big borrower.”
Whilst carbon dioxide is definitely a global issue, Mallinson does not believe that water usage will ever become more than a regional one. Sweden has no shortage of water, so it seems completely unnecessary to introduce universally applicable regulations and guidelines.
“I really hope that those organisations who are insisting on reducing industry’s water usage take into account the considerable regional differences which exist around the world,” concludes Guy Mallinson, Sales Director at Iggesund Paperboard.