Stora Enso sites uses cookies in order to provide you with the best user experience. You consent to the use of cookies by continuing the use of the site. You can change your browser settings at any time. For further information on cookies, please see our privacy and cookie policy.


Almost all of the water we use directly comes from lakes and rivers, and around 95% of this total volume is recycled back to the environment.


In 2013 we continued to participate actively in various international initiatives related to water. These initiatives include the CEO Water Mandate of the UN Global Compact and the work of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on water risk assessment tools. Stora Enso is also actively participating in the Water Footprint Network and in the development of an international ISO standard for water accounting.


Our assessments of water-related risks in our operations and our supply chain indicate that almost all of Stora Enso's production units are located in regions where water is a relatively abundant resource.


Water management is one of our long-term focus areas covered by Key Performance Indicators in our Global Responsibility work. Our environmental targets include quantitative and qualitative targets for process water discharges. During 2013 we extended these process water discharge targets to 2015.


Water use at our mills

Water plays a central role in our pulp, paper and board production processes. The structure of paper is dependent on water, as hydrogen bonds are needed to keep the wood fibres together. Water is also used for cooling machinery at the mills, for cleaning, and as a carrier of energy in the form of steam. Water is additionally needed as a medium to carry fibres through production processes.


Almost all of the water we use directly comes from lakes and rivers, and around 95% of this total volume is recycled back to the environment. This recycling occurs either after appropriate treatment (for process water), or without treatment where this is not necessary (for cooling water). Stora Enso's approach to water and its use is also described in our Water Use Statement, available at


Water also plays a key role in creating the electricity we use and purchase, particularly in hydropower plants. Our mills producing solid wood products additionally need low volumes of water in their manufacturing processes.



Quality of treated process water

All our wastewater streams are carefully purified in our treatment plants before being released back into the natural environment. This is essential, since impurities in water discharges can harm ecosystems in lakes, rivers and other natural water bodies. Stora Enso uses top class wastewater treatment systems to ensure that the water we release is purified, ecologically safe, and meets all regulatory requirements. Our water treatment systems also recycle water within mills where feasible, reducing the need for water intake.


During 2013 our normalised discharges of chemical oxygen demand (COD), calculated per saleable tonne of pulp, paper and board, continued to decline. Since 2007 we have reduced our normalised COD discharges by 10%.


In 2013 our normalised discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus increased. Over the past five years our normalised discharges of phosphorus have increased by 2% and discharges of nitrogen have increased by 11%.


In 2013 we continued to reduce our normalised discharges of Adsorbable Organic Halogen Compounds (AOX). AOX is a collective term for the amounts of chlorine or other halogens bound

to organic matter in wastewater. In recent years our discharges of AOX have fluctuated within a range that represents good performance. This is because Stora Enso has not used elemental chlorine in its bleaching processes for over 20 years.

Water use along our supply chain

We also strive to continuously improve water management along our supply chain in order to manage our water-related risks. We require high quality water management from our suppliers as a part of our responsible sourcing, and our expectations on suppliers' water management are emphasised in our Code of Conduct for suppliers which will be finalised during 2014.