Sustainable Paper And Pulp Production: A Brief Guide

Paper has many different uses. Receipts, paper bags, cartons, and books all use paper. That being said, the utility of paper is quite clear especially given the fact that the world is going greener by the day. However, while there has been a lot of progress in attaining a green standard in the paper and pulp industry, there’ve also been quite a few challenges.

Also, as our contemporary society has evolved over the years, the demand for paper has increased exponentially. Probably because we use a lot of it. It comes as no surprise then that the world is creating sustainable processes and innovations to increase yields to sustain the ever-increasing demand for paper globally. You’d be right in saying that the rate of innovation, as far as making paper is concerned, is quite rapid.

Unfortunately, paper and pulp production account for some of the pollutions in our society. Also, plenty of water is wasted during the process. As much as 100 liters of water can go into making a kilogram of paper. Moreover, due to poor industry practices, the polluted water that comes out as a byproduct of this process is dumped in places where it shouldn’t be e.g., the ocean. Also, on that note, a lot of energy is wasted in the process. Almost every stage of the paper-making process uses a lot of energy.

guide on sustainable paper and pulp production

Also, in the world’s bid to make the future renewable, wood will be a very important part of this transition. Therefore, sustainable forestry should be instituted as a matter of urgency otherwise it will be hard to meet our targets. Mind you if resources are used improperly, unwanted consequences may arise.

That being said, the following is a brief guide on sustainable paper and pulp production. It details some of the things you need to know about the industry seeing that it’s an industry that’s seen many advancements over the years. It also gives some vital outlooks as far as sustainable forestry is concerned.

1. Sustainable Manufacturing and Harvesting

Wood is the primary raw material in the paper-making process. Paper is made from pulp and pulp is made from fibers (cellulose) found in wood. As such, plenty of wood is required to produce more and to meet demand. Thus, the necessity of sustainable forestry. More forest is needed to harvest and produce more. The move towards sustainable paper and pulp production has to be facilitated by adopting innovative technology. Here’s why:

Since production starts in the forest, you need the machinery to harvest the wood. Sawing equipment like deck saws and saw chains are used to cut and log trees for further processing. To minimize wastage and save time, you need the help of advanced technologies. Reputable brands like Pacific Trail Manufacturing have a wide array of equipment to choose from. They have the most cutting-edge technologies in terms of sawing trees.

Moreover, if sustainability is to be attained in the paper and pulp production industry, it should start somewhere at the source (forest) e.g., if you salvage time savings, money savings, and reduce waste (water and electricity) by using advanced technology when harvesting wood, these costs, and environmental advantages will trickle down the value chain.

Machine technology is more effective and efficient compared to the human hand. Humans are not as fast as computers, robots, and machines. Since machines are more productive, they make fewer mistakes than humans. Mind you, making mistakes may not be good for a business’s bottom line. That’s why the paper and pulp production process is mostly automated. Human involvement is needed before upkeep and maintenance. From source to processing to the end product, every part of the production has some form of automation in it. A sustainable future cannot be secured apart from innovation, information and technology, and machinery.

2. Forest Biodiversity

This establishment of sustainable forests is good for the industry. It allows for the spread and diversification of plant species. Also, if done right, it contributes towards environmental equilibrium. While it is true that some people still engage in irresponsible logging activities, there’s still a concerted effort toward making the paper-making process environmentally sustainable. You certainly don’t want to produce paper at the expense of natural habitats. Also, you do not want to destroy habitats all for the sake of meeting a demand for paper. It makes a lot of economic sense, but it’s morally skewed.

Moreover, when forests are grown specifically for raising trees that will be used in the paper in paper production, we preserve the integrity of the nature reserves surrounding those areas. That’s why it’s important to have regulations in place that govern how sustainable forestry should be done. You need to work with nature lest it works against you.

Furthermore, the whole point of sustainability is to improve productivity without worsening the condition of nature. Otherwise, we will pay a heavy price for disrupting the equilibrium that’s already there. Thankfully we have experts in the field of biodiversity research. Tons of research help people to understand the dynamics of nature, what to look out for, and how we can improve production without damaging our environment.

3. Certification

The objective of certification procedures in forestry is to legitimize the paper and pulp production process. It’s no secret that healthy forests are essential in building a sustainable production process. The paper production industry accounts for a lot of waste as mentioned before. So, if sustainable production is to be attained, regulation is required.

In North America, there are three notable programs in place to help validate processes of harvest and production namely the American Tree Farming System (ATTS), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI). They are all different regarding the key focus areas they intend to address. But the end goal is more or less the same, to instill credibility accountability in forestry.

These programs can elaborate on the practices which are supposed to be followed by all landowners as far as growing trees and sustainably harvesting them is concerned. Those landowners who can prove their certification automatically improve their credibility. They will also have greater access to other markets. The more landowners that partner with such endeavors, the more sustainable the value chain will be. Remember, if any sustainable future is to be secured, it has to start from the source.

An additional benefit of managing forests is that the paper and pulp industry accounts for a lot of jobs globally. Establishing regulations that protect forests can contribute to protecting the jobs of the many people who are employed in the industry. Throughout the value chain, you will find that there are a lot of people who are employed from the tree cutting to the final product (paper).

4. Renewable Energy

Paper is perhaps one of the most renewable substances on this planet. Paper recycling is quite popular nowadays and it accounts for much of the paper that we use. The fact that paper is recyclable means that it’s a better substitute for non-renewable substances like plastic. The more that our world gravitates towards a pro-paper society, the more inventive people have to be to extract more volumes of paper from waste and landfills.

paper-recycling

Demand is and will most likely stay high. Recycling is going to be a part of the renewable future that the world is aiming towards. A lot of energy is lost in processing and extracting paper. Therefore, innovation will be a constant feature insofar as attaining sustainable paper and pulp induction is concerned.

Also, relying too much on energy can be deleterious because it means that if a power cut occurs, the whole process will be affected. Using renewable energy sources to facilitate production can help. Renewable sources of energy like biomass and solar energy are alternatives to electrical energy.

Although the energy from renewables is hard to harness, it’s possible to create hybrid systems that utilize both renewable and non-renewable energy. If the production process is transformed into a renewable machine as much as possible, less energy is wasted and fewer emissions are produced. A renewable energy cycle can be created wherein most parts of the system are powered by green energy.

5. The Problem of Deforestation

Deforestation is a big problem. Agriculture, mining, and construction projects are the main causes of deforestation. It’s a practice that marks the epitome of unsustainable forestry. Harvesting trees without replacing them will lead to all kinds of problems in the long run.

sustainable forestry

If people make the habit of cutting forests illegally and not replacing them, it could lead to desertification and habitat loss. This also ties in with biodiversity loss which is devastating to maintaining the equilibrium of the environment. Destruction of food chains can have far-reaching effects on the entire ecosystem. That’s why deforestation must be shunned. Also, that’s why forests are being regulated more diligently.

Moreover, deforestation is a barrier to sustainable paper and pulp production. If deforestation is allowed to continue, the hope for building a sustainable paper and pulp production system is futile. It’s like moving forward-backward. That’s why most authorities around the world put punishments in place for people who cut trees without permits or some form of authorization legitimizing their activity. Trees are an important natural resource and they must be protected. If trees are harvested improperly, the effects will be felt across the whole production chain and in the environment.

Conclusion

Sustainability is much sought after in today’s contemporary society. Thus, the drive for efficiency and innovation in production. The pulp and paper industry is no different. There is no determining what the ceiling is when it comes to technological innovation. All that can be ascertained is that any form of progress is welcome. Because if the future is to be green, every opportunity for growth needs to be utilized. All things considered, sustainability is and will always be a worthwhile goal.

Top 4 Benefits of Biomass Energy

Biomass is material originating from plant and animal matter. Biomass energy uses biomass to create energy by burning organic materials. The heat energy released through burning these materials can heat homes or water. Heated water produces steam, which in turn can generate electricity. Using organic materials to create heat and power is an eco-friendlier alternative compared to using fossil fuels. Here’s more about the benefits of biomass energy

biomass-bales

1. Indefinitely Renewable

The majority of the world’s energy comes from burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are a finite resource. Once fossil fuel resources run out, new fuel sources will be needed to meet global energy demands. Biomass offers a solution to meet this need.

Organic waste material from agriculture and logging operations, animal manure, and sludge from wastewater treatment are all viable fuels for generating biomass energy. As long as the earth is inhabited, these materials will be readily available.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Organic waste that would typically be disposed of in landfills could be redirected for biomass energy use. This reduces the amount of material in landfills and slows the rate at which landfills are filled. Some of the most common waste products used for biomass energy are wood chips and agricultural waste products. Wood materials can easily be converted from already existing wood structures that will be destroyed, such as wooden furniture and log cabins, preferably both would also come from responsible logging and practices as well.

As more organic waste is diverted from landfills, the number of new landfills needed would be reduced. Older landfills are at risk for leaking leachate. Leachate contains many environmental pollutants that can contaminate groundwater sources.

Burning fossil fuel releases carbon into the atmosphere which was previously trapped below ground. Trapped carbon isn’t at risk for contributing to global climate change since it can’t interact with air. Each time fossil fuels are burned, they allow previously trapped carbon to enter the atmosphere and contribute to global climate change. In comparison, biofuel is carbon-neutral.

The materials used to create biomass energy naturally release carbon into the environment as they decompose. Living plants and trees use carbon dioxide to grow and release oxygen into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide released by burning organic material will be absorbed by existing plants and trees. The biomass cycle is carbon-neutral as no new carbon is introduced to the system.

3. Smaller Carbon Footprint

The amount of unused farmland is increasing as agriculture becomes more efficient. Maintaining open land is expensive. As a result, farmers are selling off their property for new developments. Unused open agricultural land could be used to grow organic material for biofuels.

Converting open tracts of land to developed areas increases the amount of storm-water runoff. Storm-water runoff from developed areas contains more pollutants than storm-water runoff from undeveloped areas. Using open areas to grow biomass sources instead of creating new developments would reduce water pollution.

Biomass-Resources

A quick glance at popular biomass resources

Forested areas also provide sources of biofuel material. Open land converted to sustainable forestry would create new animal habitats and offset carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel sources as more plants and trees would be available to absorb carbon dioxide.

4. Social Benefits of Biomass Energy

Burning fossil fuels releases sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulate matter into the atmosphere which can cause asthma, cancer and respiratory problems. Biomass energy emits less harmful byproducts compared to fossil fuels, which means cleaner air and healthier people.

Biofuel can improve rural economies by providing more people with unused land the opportunity to grown biomass material for energy use. Workers would be needed to harvest and process the materials needed to generate biofuel.

Since biomass is a renewable energy source, energy providers can receive tax credits and incentives. Countries with land resources will be less reliant on foreign fossil fuel providers and can improve their local economies.

Increasing biomass energy usage can reduce forest fires. Selectively reducing brush can still reduce the risk of wildfires spreading. Exposing underbrush and groundcover to rainfall decreases the change of it drying out and creating optimal, fire spreading conditions.

Biomass Energy in Denmark

Denmark is an example of how effective biomass energy can be in improving energy efficiency. Approximately 70 percent of renewable-energy consumption in Denmark comes from biomass.

Woody biomass creates an increasing percentage of heating from combined heat and power (CHP) plants with a goal to for 100 percent of hearing to be derived from woody biomass by 2035. Another form of biomass is agricultural biomass. This form utilizes materials such as straw and corn to create end-products like electricity, heating and biofuels.

The Danish Energy Agency has developed a plan including four scenarios that will help Denmark become fossil fuel free by 2050. The biomass scenario involves CHP for electricity and district heating, indicating that biomass energy is important in Denmark’s energy sector today and will play an increasingly important role in the future.

Biomass offers an eco-friendly and renewable method of reducing pollution and the effects of global climate change. And, like other forms of renewable energy, the products needed to develop biomass energy are readily available.

Top Technologies and Practices for Sustainable Forestry and Agriculture

Innovative technologies can help improve the resilience of different industries. Agriculture and forestry are no exception. In this piece, you will find out whether you can take care of the health of the fields, detect common tree diseases promptly and save resources without harming the environment.

Sustainability and Technologies

At first glance, digital technologies and environmental sustainability are mutually exclusive concepts since common development factors do not link them. Technological changes are aimed at increasing production efficiency using artificial intelligence, IoT, and robotics. Environmental sustainability is promoted by a combination of several factors associated with geopolitical instability, deteriorating climatic conditions, and the environment.

The business will not cover all the needs of a growing population for food and services by simply increasing production. Social and environmental problems of the modern world can be solved only with the help of innovative technologies. The combination of digital innovation and environmental sustainability can help address these challenges. In addition, this combination is an excellent way for a business to stand out and consolidate its viability among clients and related organizations. Indeed, sustainable practices and digital technologies may be an integral part of any business. This combination can provide the company with higher income at lower costs while providing a positive customer experience.

Sustainable Forestry

Humanity needs the resources that the forest provides. Sustainable forestry involves  forest management and caring for its health. It is vital to save the forest as a separate ecosystem and habitat for many animals and so that the essential resources remain for future generations.

sustainable forestry

1. Forest Health and Forest Management

Various sustainable forest management practices are tailored for each area. One of the basic methods is to check the regeneration. It means that you need to make sure you have enough tree sprouts, natural seeds and seedlings.  Excessive populations of certain species of animals can lead to the destruction of young trees as they eat them. In such cases, people can install a fence. If there is little sunlight in the forest, some trees can be removed, as can weeds, which grow and take up a significant portion of the nutrients or water.

Sustainable forestry practices also include caring for wet areas and forest streams. Do not allow much soil to enter the water, as it can harm aquatic organisms. Large pipes should control rain flow to prevent erosion of exposed soil in areas where trees have been felled.

Caring for the health of the forest is another challenge for sustainable forest management. The extinction of a large number of trees testifies to the health problems of the woods. They can be caused by insect pests, diseases, wildfires, or unfavorable weather conditions. Sustainable forestry is concerned with promoting health and reducing negative health factors.

2. Precision Forestry

Precision forestry relies on various innovative technologies, including drones, soil sensors, drones, and laser scanning. However, this concept is not limited only to the introduction of technologies. Still, it means a transition from an analog control system to a system with operational control and digital data collection.

The technologies of precision forestry are designed to improve management. With their help, you can optimize the decision-making process, relying on advanced analytics. Better data collection goes hand in hand with more control over various operations, automation of production, and better meeting the needs of the forest, for example, when it comes to nutrients or soil moisture.

Sustainable Agriculture

The agricultural sector, as well as the use of forest resources, is necessary for humanity. However, the use of harmful farming practices, including the release of agricultural waste, is detrimental to the environment. Sustainable agriculture exists to minimize the negative impact on the environment. It offers the use of environmentally friendly technologies and methods.

compost-organic-waste-farming

The concept of safe food using organic waste generated compost is getting traction.

1. Irrigation

Smart irrigation systems can go beyond just providing timely watering and reporting soil moisture levels and temperatures so growers can effectively care for their crops. Many plants have specific requirements for these parameters. Special sensors inform farmers about the need to change the growing environment depending on the temperature conditions while reducing water loss.

Another serious cause of the irrigation system is hard water. The high levels of salt of hard water can clog up your irrigation system. Moreover, it can make the soil hard and unsuitable for use. Choose a sustainable technology to treat hard water for your irrigation system is one thing everyone should really consider.

2. Biotechnology

Thanks to biotechnology, breeders can develop plants with specific traits using more precise methods with faster results. Scientists are also working on plants that use water more efficiently and can thrive even in drought conditions. Biotechnology also contributes to higher yields, as breeders by editing the genes of plants make them more resistant to various diseases. It also has great potential in animal husbandry.

sustainable agriculture

3. Data and Software

The Internet of Things has a significant impact on the sustainability of agriculture, and it is through this technology, farmers can use intelligent irrigation systems or livestock health trackers. Software and sensors transmit data to a central system, from where farmers receive information. You can make more effective decisions based on the obtained data regarding the health of the crops, and therefore save resources.