Smurfit Kappa invested €11.5million (£10 million) into redesigning the multi-fuel boiler at the company’s Zülpich paper mill to create a more sustainable fuel source and reduce carbon emissions.

The German mill, which produces approximately 500,000 tonnes of paper annually, is now powered by a combination of its own biogas – a by-product of its circular water treatment plant, natural gas, and the residual materials which occur in the paper recycling process that would otherwise be considered waste.

The project reduces carbon emissions at the paper mill by more than 25% and saves 55,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which represents a 2% reduction in Smurfit Kappa’s global carbon emissions. Smurfit Kappa wants to achieve a 55% intensity reduction in fossil carbon emissions by 2030 and at least net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Zülpich circular approach also extends beyond its own operations to create loops with Smurfit Kappa’s Parenco and Roermond paper mills in the Netherlands. The rejects from both mills are valuable sources of fuel for Zülpich’s boiler.

Pim Wareman, CEO of the Smurfit Kappa Recycled Paper Cluster, said, ‘The unveiling of this state-of-the-art multi-fuel boiler is yet another example of how sustainability is part of our DNA at Smurfit Kappa.’

Andreas Zeitlinger, managing director of the Zülpich paper mill, added, ‘We are delighted to have this high-performing new boiler up and running.

‘This investment has reinforced our commitment to a circular business model. By turning side streams from the paper manufacturing process such as the rejects and biogas into steam and electricity, we are well on track to meet our sustainability targets.’

Smurfit Kappa has approximately 48,000 employees in over 350 production sites across 36 countries. Last year, the company turned over a revenue of €10.1 billion.