THE MILL, THE WORKERS
Innovation and efficiency in papermaking using less water and less energy, converting process waste into resources, deepening the cascade use of raw materials in symbiosis with other industries -that is every paper worker´s philosophy. A bio-industry that generates stable and skilled employment for experts in the latest technologies, for those commited to environmental protection and for those with a stake in the industry of the future.
Almost one hundred per cent or paper production (97%) in Spain takes place under an environmental management system (ISO or EMAS).
The environmental revolution carried out by the cellulose and paper industry in the last few years has made true the industry´s concept of an efficient factory, both in environmental and economic terms. Energy efficiency, water use efficiency and waste management efficiency are the three main pillars of this green revolution.
Most of the energy consumed by mills is produced by the industry’s own CHP plants installed next to the pulp and paper mills, thereby avoiding electricity losses from cross-grid transport. Co-generation produces both power and heat in the form of steam, optimizing the use of fuel, and thus saving on primary energy and achieving lower emissions. One third (one quarter in 2014) of the fuel used by the sector is renewable (biomass and biogas) and the rest is mainly natural gas.
Paper mills only consume 5-10% of the total water used in pulp and paper production, either because it evaporates or because it is impregnated in the end product. The remaining 90-95% is first used and re-used as much as possible and then duly treated before being returned to the receiving medium.
Currently, 81% of manufacturing waste is re-used in different ways (as energy primarily used in the mill, for direct agricultural use, compost, or as raw material for other industries such as cement or ceramics, etc.
Stable employment, continual skills-building and occupational health and safety are the basic features of the Spanish paper industry’s human resource management strategy, which is currently developing an ambitious health & safety programme throughout the sector that has enabled accident rates to come down to less than half the number ten years ago.