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UPM: Linking the Bio and Forestry Industries through Sustainability

UPM-medFinnish company UPM is a European leader in fibre and biomass-based industries with businesses in the areas of Energy and Pulp, Paper, and Engineered Materials. The company is fully committed to environmental sustainability: in addition to ensuring that its products are made from renewable raw materials and recyclable, UPM also seeks to ensure by-product synergies wherein it uses by-products of its production processes as raw materials for its own goods.

This commitment has recently found expression in the development of UPM ProFi composite material, an innovative and environmentally sound material produced from wood fibres and plastic. The result is an aesthetically-pleasing, solid composite that is both tough and humidity resistant and can be used for decking, facades and flooring. Made from a combination of recycled paper and plastic from label stock production, UPM ProFi combines the best characteristics of wood fibres and plastics. Importantly, it offers a second life to surplus paper and plastic residuals from other industrial processes to make products for exterior use that are recyclable, PVC-free, non-toxic with a low carbon footprint. Crucially, this second life contributes to keeping such residuals out of landfills.The Composite is manufactured in Lahti, Finland and Bruchsal, Germany.

In 2011, UPM ProFi obtained PEFC Chain-of-Custody certification for its composite material. This offers guarantees that the raw materials used in the manufacture of UPM ProFi can be traced to sustainably managed forests. The PEFC certification also demonstrates that the raw materials are from 100% recycled sources.

Although the decision to seek PEFC Chain-of-Custody certification dovetails perfectly with the company's commitment to sustainability, it was also driven in part by customer demand.

"Our customers have expressed a need to verify UPM ProFi's environmental performance by an independent third party," commented Markku Koivisto, Director of UPM ProFi. "For customers and the industry PEFC is well known and one of their main interests. With this certificate we can assure that wood fibres in our composite material originate from sustainable sources."

UPM's PEFC Chain-of-Custody certification is the latest of several recognitions and awards bestowed upon the company. Also in 2011, UPM Composites were confirmed in compliance with EU Quality requirements making the company eligible to use the CE label on its composite terrace system. While in 2010, the company received the Green Good Design Award for its outdoor flooring product, UPM ProFi Deck. This was followed up by the Sustainable Innovation Management Prize received at the 2010 Best Innovator Awards held in Germany.

UPM employs around 24,500 people and has production facilities in 16 countries.


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UPM: Linking the Bio and Forestry Industries through Sustainability (245.81 kB)