With the recently published 43-page Sustainability Report for 2022, PKV documents its progress in various areas of sustainability in accordance with the recognised rules of the German Sustainability Code (DNK). However, major challenges await the company and the entire paper industry, as PKV shareholder Kristian Evers explains: “As a mature industrial company, we relied on highly efficient combined heat and power generation in connection with a gas and steam power plant at an early stage. Now, however, we need clarity as quickly as possible about when which infrastructure will be available for a fuel switch in order to achieve the greenhouse gas neutrality that we expressly want.”
After the energy price turmoil of recent years, it must also be clear: “We need energy prices that allow us to maintain well-paid, collectively agreed jobs and security of supply with fibre-based, sustainable packaging material in Germany even after the energy-intensive industries have made the transition to heat without any alternative,” said Evers.
Looking back, PKV’s sustainability report for 2022 shows the short and medium-term goals it has set itself and the progress it has made in achieving them. The report is publicly available on the PKV website.
An overview of some key topics from the report:
DECARBONISATION: The PKV is working intensively on possible transformation paths for fuel switching on the way to climate neutrality. To develop this path, including an overarching decarbonisation strategy, the PKV launched a corresponding project in 2022 with the support of an external team of consultants.
CO2 REDUCTION: PKV is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of finished product (current energy sources: natural gas, biogas and electricity) by up to 10% by 2025 compared to 2018. In 2022, a reduction of 2.7% compared to 2018 was achieved in this way.
EFFICIENCY IN OPERATION: PKV can report natural gas energy consumption of 1590 kWh per tonne of finished product for 2022. This puts PKV well below the industry average.
SUPPLY CHAIN: In 2022, PKV reviewed more than 50% of its key strategic suppliers as part of an initial sustainability survey. In addition, almost 90% of this target group have signed the PKV Code of Conduct. The importance of acting responsibly and complying with due diligence obligations in the supply chain will continue to be focused on in the coming years as part of systematic risk analyses and assessments.
EFFICIENCY PROJECTS: PKV will use new systems to better recycle process heat from paper production. To this end, new water circuits are currently being built so that heated cooling water can be used as preheated process water at the machines – instead of the cold fresh water otherwise used here. This new utilisation eliminates most of the fresh water preheating with steam. As a result, PKV will continue to save natural gas in future – up to a total of more than 16,700 megawatt hours per year. This corresponds to the annual consumption of around 950 average households.