Environmental thinking and sustainability issues are becoming increasingly important all across society and Holmen Paper wholeheartedly shares that commitment. Since 2014, all graphic paper from the Hallsta and Braviken paper mills carry the official EU Ecolabel.

Taking long-term responsibility for the environment is a fundamental aspect of Holmen Paper’s strategy. All the paper mills are certified according to the ISO systems for environmental, energy and quality management. In addition, Holmen’s forestry is certified to the standards FSC® (FSC-ID) and PEFC.

“These certifications help to establish trust in our environmental work, and adding the EU Ecolabel to the mix strengthens our environmental profile even further,” says Katarina Granö, market communications manager at Holmen Paper.

The EU Ecolabel is applied to a wide range of product groups such as textiles, detergents, paints and shoes, with graphic paper and newsprint joining the list in June 2011.

“The products have their environmental impact carefully assessed before they can qualify for the EU Ecolabel. For graphic paper, the main focus is on the use of fibre raw materials, chemicals and energy, plus emissions to air and water during manufacture,” explains Leonard Dahlberg, environmental and quality engineer at Braviken.

Ecolabelling – a competitive advantage

The environmental performance of Holmen Paper’s mills has long been high, so no major investments were required in order to achieve the EU Ecolabel. A great deal of work has, however, gone into checking and replacing various process chemicals so that all the requirements can be met. Now the products Holmen VIEW, Holmen XLNT, Holmen TRND, Holmen PLUS, Holmen BOOK and Holmen GUIDE have been approved to carry the EU Ecolabel.

Securing the EU Ecolabel for all Holmen Paper’s products is seen as an increasingly important competitive advantage for the future. Pressure from the market is increasing and in some countries and product areas it is practically essential to be able to offer EU Ecolabelled products. The latest customer and market survey from Holmen Paper also confirms the importance of ecoprofiling.

“Retail chains in particular, which send out large quantities of direct mail, want to be able to show that they’re using paper with good environmental credentials,” comments Karolina Svensson, sales and marketing director at Holmen Paper.

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Environmental impact less than you might think

The survey also showed that there are many misconceptions when it comes to paper and the environment. For example, there is a general belief that printed products have a greater environmental impact than digital media.

“As an industry, we need to do much more to inform the world about how little environmental impact paper production has compared with what the general public thinks. Certifying our products under FSC®(FSC-ID), PEFC™ and now the EU Ecolabel is a great help in getting this important message across,” says Karolina Svensson.

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The EU’s official ecolabel

The EU Ecolabel is the official ecolabel of the European Union. The ecolabelling criteria are drawn up by responsible bodies in the Member States. There are currently 26 different types of goods and services that can be granted the EU Ecolabel. To achieve certification, the products are assessed from a life cycle perspective from raw material to waste. The products have to meet strict environmental, functional and quality requirements. These requirements are tightened on a continuous basis.