Frequently Asked Questions


Norske Skog Golbey is a listed facility regarding environment protection and is required to comply with the emission limits stated in the operating permit issued by the local Council.

In the particular area of water, the quality of discharge is continuously monitored by inline sensors and by daily inspections by our laboratory analysts. Approved outside bodies test supplementary parameters and validate the conformity of our internal inspections.

Every year, a laboratory takes biological samples from the Moselle river in the spring and autumn, upstream and downstream from our discharge point. Analyses are then used to calculate a Standardised Overall Biological Index which establishes the overall score of the biological quality of the ecosystem. No impact on the quality of the Moselle that can be attributed to our discharge has been shown to date by this indicator, which has been in place since 1991.

For more information about our CSR commitments in the area of environment protection, download our CSR report.

For more information about the management of water and atmospheric emissions, click here.

Papermaking requires the use of large quantities of water. The water used by NSG is abstracted from a gravel pit. After use in our manufacturing processes, it is treated in our water treatment plant and then discharged into the river Moselle. 81 % of the water abstracted is thus given back to the natural environment.

Since the start of the factory, the optimisation of our manufacturing process has allowed us to reduce our water use per tonne of paper produced by 27 % and we are among the most efficient paper mills in that regard.

Further, in order to limit the abstracted quantities, approximately 30 % of the output from the water treatment plant is reintroduced into the plant circuit.

More information about the treatment of our discharge can be found in this video.

Atmospheric discharge from our boilers is continuously monitored by inline sensors. Additionally, approved outside bodies carry out measurements and take samples once every quarter to make sure that the fumes we produce comply with the discharge limits applicable. Besides, measurement campaigns of heavy metals in plants are carried out once a year by a specialised approved laboratory at stations around the factory under prevailing winds to assess the potential impact of atmospheric fallout. No impact attributable to our atmospheric discharge has been found to date and all the results comply with the health limits.

For more information about our CSR commitments in the area of environment protection, download our CSR report.

For more information about the management of water and atmospheric emissions, click here.

Norske Skog Golbey has been ISO 14001 certified for more than 10 years. This standard guarantees that the company keeps control over its environmental impacts. In order to ensure continual improvement, it also includes requirements relating to progress in environmental efficiency.

Since 2016, Norske Skog Golbey also has ISO 50001 certification, which guarantees the formalisation of our energy management system and the good practices we have been applying for several years. The certification is also based on continual improvement, and particularly covers the following assessment criteria:

  • Preparation of an energy policy and assessment of efficiency
  • Definition of targets to achieve – measurement of results and use of energy consumption data in the decision-making process

To download our certificates, click here.

Preferring reduction at source, reuse, recycling and repurposing of waste is one of our commitments in the area of environment protection.

Thus, we repurpose 99 % of the waste generated by our activity:

  • either internally (power generation by the non-hazardous waste cogeneration boiler): water treatment sludge, de-inking sludge, bark, recovered paper trituration waste
  • or externally (mainly material repurposing): metal, cardboard, ashes etc.

In addition to promoting employee awareness, a number of sorting systems are also provided, such as skips that are clearly identified for the different types of waste.

Our aim is to continue to reduce the volume of unrecycled waste (approximately 1 %) by working with partners on the treatment of certain targeted categories of waste.

Lastly, we also look for new outlets for some of our waste, such as ashes, in order to assure the continuity of our repurposing streams. For several years, we have thus been working on the implementation of new recovery techniques in a logic of circular economy along with our partners. While the new outlets are being developed, ashes are repurposed in conventional streams, including construction.

As a responsible company featuring among the list of intensive users of electricity, Norske Skog Golbey has developed a strategy to optimise its energy consumption through its energy purchasing policy and also through a number of actions in the field.

Thus, concrete action is taken in the pulp and newsprint manufacturing processes in order to optimise our consumption. To that end, we work in close collaboration with the national system management company, which enables us to help protect the system in case of a local and national consumption peak (e.g. during severely cold weather).

Besides, our employees are also made aware of the issue and asked to get involved and suggest actions. Thus, the energy action of the year is rewarded at a ceremony organised to honour the employees involved. An Energy Team made up of volunteer employees has also been put in place and acts as a relay in the field.

Lastly, since 2016, Norske Skog Golbey also has ISO 50001 certification, which guarantees the formalisation of our energy management system and the good practices we have been applying for several years, particularly through our energy policy.

Production and quality

In Golbey, we use the following raw materials to make our paper:

  • Recovered paper, essentially sourced from selective collection from French households. Every year, we recycle 500,000 tonnes of newspapers, magazines and advertising leaflets. By buying these materials from local communities and recyclers, we offer them an economical and environmentally-friendly recycling solution, while we benefit from their sorting infrastructure and waste collection circuits.
  • by-products from sustainably managed forests (thinning logs and sawmill chips), 95 % of which are sourced from north-eastern France. The use of wood, which is indispensable for the renewal of fibres in the paper circuit, also contributes to the economic exploitation and maintenance of forests, and makes the wood industry in north-eastern France dynamic and sustainable.

For more information about paper pulp manufacturing, click here.

The use of recycled paper and wood as our raw materials contributes to the quality of our papers. It gives them excellent properties such as:

  • Greater bulk
  • Improved opacity
  • Excellent paper quality also with low grammage

Besides, wood provides cellulose fibres, also known as virgin fibres, to the paper industry. These are indispensable in the making of paper, since fibres get damaged every time they are recycled, and ultimately they are no longer enough to allow the formation of a sheet of paper. On average, a fibre can be recycled five to seven times.

For more information about paper pulp manufacturing, click here.

We cannot use cardboard to make newsprint due to the unbleached colour of the fibres. As it is difficult to discolour these fibres, cardboard would have a significant negative impact on the whiteness of paper.

That is why can use only newspapers, magazines and advertising leaflets (categories 1.11: graphics paper sorted for deinking and 1.09: newspapers and magazines) as raw materials.

For more information about paper pulp manufacturing, click here.

The formation and drying of a sheet of paper demands significant quantities of heat and steam. In Golbey, steam is derived from two main sources:

  • The process for refining wood chips generates steam, which is recovered and purified and then supplied to the paper machine dryer section.
  • The non-hazardous waste cogeneration boiler provides the process with steam. If the boiler is under maintenance or is out of order, gas boilers can take up its load in order to prevent any impact on production.

Further, in order to repurpose that resource, the surplus steam produced is reused and:

  • supplied to a cogeneration turbine and thus helps produce electricity,
  • sold to another company, Pavatex, located next to our plant, which uses it in its process for manufacturing insulating wood fibre boards. That synergy has allowed Pavatex to do away with an independent gas boiler.

Norske Skog Golbey has ISO 9001 certification for over 10 years. This standard defines the requirements applicable as part of a quality management system. In particular, it includes the following assessment criteria:

  • Management responsibility for the approach
  • Application of the quality system concept
  • Process management
  • Continual improvement process

To download our quality certificates, click here.

The quality of paper pulp and of our processes are determining factors for the compliance of the finished product. That is why our integrated laboratory runs a number of tests on the pulp throughout the manufacturing process. The quality of the finished products is closely monitored online, with sensors placed over all the paper machines. Moreover, the finished product itself is validated, since a sample is taken from each jumbo reel for testing and analysis. Lastly, our reel operators carry out a last visual inspection; based on their know-how and skills, they are responsible for final checks before the reel is shipped.

Traceability is guaranteed by labelling and the use of barcodes to identify the reel, both in the plant and in our customers’ premises. If ever a reel is not entirely satisfactory, we can thus trace the circumstances in which it was produced and establish a better diagnosis.

In order to optimise printing on reels, a few usage recommendations must be followed:

  • Humidity in the storage area: ideally 50 %.
  • Temperature in the storage area: 19 to 23 °C.
  • Reels must be stored on a smooth, clean and well-maintained floor in a dry warehouse.
  • If the storage area does not have an air conditioning system, the reels need to be prepared before printing, because the paper needs to stabilise for 48 hours in the printing works.
  • The protective packaging on the reels must only be removed when the paper is actually put into use.
  • Always use ink that is suitable for the quality of the paper to print and a stable wetting solution with an appropriate pH, temperature and conductivity.

Samples are available for new customers or if the paper quality or grammage is changed. You can also carry out a test, which may be monitored by a Customer Service Technician if needed.


Our activity generates extensive logistics flows, before production (raw material procurement) and after production (deliveries of finished goods). For several years, in order to optimise our logistics footprint, we have been developing the use of rail transport in parallel with road transport. The development of rail transport is an effective way of reducing our carbon footprint relating to freight as the greenhouse gas emission factor of railways is much lower than that of road transport. Besides, in respect of road transport, we prefer to work with carriers operating fleets that meet the most stringent anti-pollution standards (Euro 6).

In 2017, the distribution between rail and road transport was 35 % and 65 % respectively on average (these figures may fluctuate from one year to the next depending on changes in our customer portfolio and delivery points).

More information about our carbon and logistics footprint is in our CSR report.

Before they are sent to customers or outside storage, the reels are stored temporarily in the Golbey plant in a fully automated 20,000 square metre warehouse. Since 2013, 12 Automated Guided Vehicles manage the handling of reels. Automation has made our operators safer, assures the storage quality of our finished goods, does away with handling damage and allows continuous flows.

For more information about the storage and shipment of reels, click here.

In order to guarantee the quality and safety of reels during transport, we have put in place loading guidelines that are provided to all the carriers who work with us.

In particular, we are careful to secure the reels on the floors of lorries and waggons and to comply with the most stringent standards in the field (VDI 2700 Blatt 9, EN 12642 code XL and 12195-1/2). In order to reduce our environmental impact and make our reels safer, we have decided to use non-slipping bases that are directly incorporated into the packaging of finished products. The use of such bases does away with the non-slipping mats that are commonly used on truck floors, thus avoiding the generation of additional waste relating to reel transport.

Lastly, the use of webbing and protective packing is compulsory.

Development and diversification

Green Valley is an application of the concept of industrial ecology. It is the result of the joint efforts of different players in the region, including local institutional actors, private companies and our paper mill. Green Valley particularly focusses on the development of eco-materials, synergy and exchange between the companies based here, in order to create win-win partnerships. To date, Green Valley has made it possible to pool assets, know-how, material and energy flows between Norske Skog Golbey and other parties in the region. The most concrete example till now is the installation of the Pavatex factory (Soprema group) in 2013.

Besides, Green Valley is a concrete illustration of our commitments: “promoting the local co-development of new streams in the areas of eco-materials and circular economy” and “making our activity part of a dynamic for the social and economic prosperity of the local area”.

For more information about Green Valley, its future developments and achievements, click here

Norske Skog group has initiated its diversification programme in 2017. Its aim is to generate additional income from activities that are connected to our core business, which is and will be the manufacturing of graphics papers. In Golbey, we have decided to concentrate the activities around two major areas, namely eco-materials and renewable energy. Some projects are already being implemented, while others are still in the study phase.

For more information, click here.

The diversification of our activities is one of our CSR commitments and now essentially relates to two areas: eco-materials and renewable energy. Some projects have made significant progress, such as:

  • the construction of a unit for producing biogas from newsprint production effluent. Investment: €7.1 million

Other projects are still under study

For more information about the projects under way, click here.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us using the form below.

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