New water targets
In 2015, SCA adopted new water targets with a focus on both effluent water volume and quality. The new targets take a more holistic view on water, targeting the areas most material for the different business units:
“Our plants will reduce suspended solids by 10%. Our tissue operations will reduce the water usage by 10% and organic content (BOD) by 10%. Our forest products operations will reduce phosphorous emissions by 10%. The target will be achieved by 2020 (base year 2014)”.
In 2016, our plants reduced suspended solids by 12.5%. Our tissue operations reduced the water usage by 1.5% and organic content (BOD) by 3.3%. Our forest products operations increased phosphorous emissions by 35.6%. The increase was due to technical problems at the Obbola mill in Sweden. The mills in Munksund and Östrand were not included in the target follow-up.
Approach to water usage
The issue of water is being dealt with systematically – SCA monitors the volume and origin of the water it uses, as well as the quality of its effluent water. Most SCA mills, accounting for 97% of the Group’s water usage, are located in areas of water abundance. About 60% of the Group’s water usage is used to transport fibers during production processes and the remainder is mainly used as cooling water. 84% of the water used is drawn from surface sources.
SCA’s reporting encompasses all production sites (excluding Vinda) and, in 2016, the Group used 216 million cubic meters of water (206) in pulp and paper production.
Effluent water treatment
SCA works continuously to enhance its effluent treatment and thus the quality of the effluent water discharged from its plants. Mechanical treatment removes suspended solids, sand and particles, while biological treatment extracts dissolved solids and organic impurities that affect biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).