Great opportunities for deployment
Currently, it is no longer possible to get away from the current ecological, societal and social issues. Paper made of wood is a good example of the paradoxical situation in which humankind is currently facing at a global level. Paper is manufactured from pulp which, in turn, is extracted from wood. It is a fact that wood is a natural and renewable material that consumes CO2 from the atmosphere during its growth and continues to store carbon for its entire life cycle. It is also a fact that the paper still needs a lot of resources. How can sustainability work within such a contradiction in terms? What role can be played by paper in a world that urgently needs alternatives to plastic?
There are great opportunities for deployment. They only have to be researched and implemented in an efficient or cost-saving manner. This requires ideas and courage. Quickly, in fact. Research must find the ways and means – also with the help of digitalization. Voith’s heart has always been beating for paper as a versatile raw material, for its production and its ongoing refinement. The fact that paper has a reason for being even in an increasingly digitalized world is undisputed. But the shape that the paper production of the future will take has yet to be elaborated by the various partners around the world. After all, one thing is certain: paper has yet to develop its full potential. But it is definitely suitable for green, sustainable applications.
Climate protection took on a new level of urgency over the past year. In the aftermath of alarming studies, people used the European elections in May 2019 as a call to politicians to take immediate and decisive action. Paper makers must also find solutions because the demand for sustainable paper is constantly on the rise.
7 pieces of good news
Newspapers, magazines, books, packaging of all kinds, postal matter of all sizes and thickness, tissue products, paper cups – the list could fill entire magazine pages. Paper does, however, have one issue. Although made from the regenerative raw material wood, production is energy-intensive. Paper is nevertheless celebrating its revival as products made of it can contribute to holding back the flood of plastic endangering nature. We will, however, need sustainable paper production in the future. There are newsworthy ways and means already available. For a start, sustainability manager Markus Schönberger, Head of Sustainability Office Voith, has seven pieces of good news for us.