The global sustainability performance of the forest product industry is improving, with all aggregate indicators for reporting associations showing progress: •Greenhouse gas emissions intensity was reduced by 17% between 2005 and 2013. •The share of bio-energy in the industry’s fuel mix increased by 8 percentage points, to 61%, since 2005. •The number of hectares certified to a third-party sustainable forest management certification system increased by 41 percentage points, to 52% of wood supply, since 2000. •The global paper recycling rate increased by 11 percentage points, to 58%, between 2001 and 2013.
DS Smith in Gent already conducted a detailed review to the gas, water and electricity consumption in 2010. We concluded then that “Of all the sites, we were in the tail of the pack.”, says Luc Arens, technical project coordinator at DS Smith. After that analysis, the company took a number of measures, such as placing high-efficiency boilers and installing LED lamps in the production halls. Today, in order to reduce total CO2 emissions by 30%, DS Smith in Gent aim to go a step ahead and has sought for a partner to further optimize the production and reduce the emissions of these processes.
In the summer of 2019, an energy coaching program was set up together with the city of Ghent. This process began with a review of the processes used and provided an overview of the possible areas of improvement. By professionally measuring energy consumption at different stages in the processes, more targeted actions could be taken. In this way, the stealth consumption was addressed and the waste water was also recently collected by a specialized company.
The project was a great success, says Luc Arens, “We are now more conscious about energy reduction, see more opportunities and can assess the added value of the solutions more efficiently”. This has also been confirmed by the Ghent Ships of Environment, Tine Heyse: “We want to put Ghent on the map as a climate city. That is why we are very proud to be able to help companies in reducing their emissions. This not only saves them money, but it is also good for the climate. And this allows us to work together towards less CO₂ emissions in the city of Ghent.”
By digitizing and centralizing the counters in an online platform, the consumption can also be monitored faster and more in detail in the future. DS Smith will therefore continue to critically evaluate performance and consumption in the coming years in order to achieve the 2030 target.