Proactive environmental work is about identifying risks and responding quickly

​Proactive environmental work is an integral part of daily operations at Metsä Fibre’s pulp mills and sawmills. Every employee contributes to decreasing environmental impact.

The effects on the environment are minimised systematically at Metsä Fibre’s pulp mills and sawmills. 

“We do this by working proactively. It is a way of ensuring that we are aware of the potential environmental risks in our operations, and take the actions necessary to mitigate them in good time,” says Metsä Group’s Environmental Manager Anna Riikka Nickull.

Active monitoring and reporting of environmental performance is carried out continuously at pulp mills and sawmills. Proactive environmental work is all about the smooth operation of mills and following common procedures, as well as actively addressing any aberrations. 

Pulp mills and sawmills have individual objectives in support of proactive environmental work. When they see areas of risk or deviations from their objectives, they can act immediately and steadily improve their operations. 

Nickull says that responsibility shows in all Metsä Fibre’s activities.

“In the future, it will be more important than ever to manage environmental load, to continue cutting emissions and thus to minimise environmental impact.”

Every employee monitors impacts

Production processes need to run smoothly, without interruptions. 

“The best way of caring for the environment is to keep mills and sawmills operating normally. Maintenance and planned investments are also very important,” says Metsä Fibre’s Sustainability Manager Marko Ruottinen

Investments are focused on efficient new technology that also minimises emissions. 

“We do continuous proactive work to ensure environmental performance. In practice, this means environmental observations, info sessions on environmental topics, risk assessments and environmental research,” says Ruottinen. 

Making environmental observations is part of every employee’s job. Observations are recorded in a shared system so that everyone can see the aberration and the related improvements. The observations are reviewed daily in morning meetings at mills and sawmills, ensuring that the necessary corrective action is promptly taken. 

Nickull says that positive environmental observations are also recorded in the system. These are practices that can be useful for sawmills and mills at other locations as well. 

Emissions and impacts closely monitored

Each Metsä Fibre production facility has an up-to-date chart of environmental risks. Their emissions and impacts are monitored, measured and widely reported. 

In addition to emission limits that must not be exceeded, the company has also set more demanding internal objectives. Proactive environmental work makes sure that these objectives are achieved and that operations comply with permit limits.

Metsä Fibre seeks to stand out from its competitors in open reporting, collaboration and reliability. For example, its annual reports list factory-specific emission figures.

“Communication about the environmental topics and personnel training are also important ways to underline environmental topics and ensure that they are part of everyone’s daily activities,” says Ruottinen.

Warning of changes, practising for emergencies

Communication is part of proactive environmental work. Local stakeholders are informed about annual maintenance shutdowns, for example, so that they can anticipate them. The goal is that operations cause no disturbances or harm to the neighbourhood.

Being proactive also involves emergency plans. If the unexpected happens, everyone must know what to do. Mills organise regular emergency drills in cooperation with local authorities, rescue services and other important stakeholders. 

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