New water targets

In 2015, SCA adopted new water targets with a focus on both 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 by 10%. Our operations will reduce the usage by 10% and organic content () by 10%. Our forest products operations will reduce phosphorous emissions by 10%. The target will be achieved by 2020 (base year 2014)”.

Results 2016

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 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 (COD).

Effluent water
Water discharged to water courses after treatment.
Suspended solids
Particles that are not dissolved in the effluent water.
Creped soft paper which is the basis for hygiene products such as napkins, toilet paper and towels, and toweling products for institutions, hotels, etc.
Represents the sum of surface water, ground water and tap water for processes and cooling purposes.
BOD, Biochemical oxygen demand
Water emission factor which describes the amount of oxygen consumed during biodegradation of dissolved organic matter in effluent water, without describing the specific substances present. High BOD values indicate depletion of the normal oxygen content of the water environment. It is measured over seven days in SCA’s Swedish mills and five days in the rest of Europe, in accordance with national legislative systems.
Effluent water
Water discharged to water courses after treatment.
COD, Chemical oxygen demand
Water emission factor which describes the amount of oxygen consumed when dissolved matter in effluent water oxidizes. High COD values can indicate a risk of depletion of the normal oxygen content in the water environment.