Sappi completes €35M upgrade of power plant boiler at Gratkorn, Austria, paper mill that will initially replace coal with natural gas and biomass, use mostly biomass in the future; project to make mill more energy independent, cut GHG emissions 30%

Sample article from our Pulp & Paper Industry

September 23, 2022 (press release) –

Modernisation of the power plant boiler at Sappi’ s production site in Gratkorn, Austria, is finally completed. As of now, more sustainable fuels will be used instead of coal to power the paper machines at the company’s largest mill in Europe. During a transitional phase, the new state-of-the-art boiler will run on natural gas and biomass. In the future, predominantly biomass will be used. “Our ultimate goal is to use only sustainable and renewable fuels. This will make us more independent in the future, especially in times of gas shortages and uncertainty on the energy market,” explains Sappi Gratkorn Managing Director Max Oberhumer.

By entirely phasing out coal, the Gratkorn plant is making an important contribution to climate protection and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 30 per cent. The project is a top priority on Sappi Europe’s sustainability agenda. The 35 million euro investment represents a clear commitment to the Gratkorn site and shows that climate and environmental protection are deemed pivotal in the paper industry. More information on the shift from coal to renewable resources at Sappi’s Gratkorn mill is available at:

Science-based targets for decarbonisation journey

In July, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approved Sappi’s target to reduce carbon emissions by 41.5% per ton of product by 2030 from a 2019 base year, as well as the company’s commitment that 44% of its suppliers will be implementing science-based targets by 2026. The SBTi-approved targets are part of Sappi’s much larger global and regional commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, Sappi has initiated numerous projects to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Tackling climate change is one of the biggest and most daunting challenges of our time – and we are committed to taking positive action,” says Sarah Price, Director Sustainability at Sappi Europe. “Across Europe, we are deriving more value from every tree, by-product and resource we use. We are dedicated to sustainable forestry, to reducing waste and maximizing efficiencies with the resources we use.”

Key objectives of Sappi’s decarbonisation roadmap

For the near term, Sappi’s decarbonisation roadmap includes close to 80 projects to be carried out across our European mills by 2025. “Our 2025 roadmap identifies the path we need to embark on towards a carbon-neutral future,” explains Sarah Price. The main objective is to reduce emissions of specific greenhouse gases (Scope 1 and 2) by 25 per cent by 2025 and to increase the share of renewable energy in Europe to 50 per cent (compared to 2019). “We’re already making good progress with the 2025 roadmap, with a large number of projects already well-underway or completed”. In Sappi’s Alfeld Mill in Germany, for example, the evaporation plant for spent black liquor has been expanded, which increases pulp production and generates additional green energy.

For more on Sappi Europe’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the projects within the decarbonisation roadmap, visit

About Sappi

Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable wood fibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™ C015022) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC/07-32-76) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and ISO 45 001 certifications. We have EMAS registration at 5 of our 10 mills in Europe. 

Sappi Europe is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 19 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.

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