Projects & Bio-economy

For several years, Norske Skog Golbey has adopted a strategy focusing on the circular economy in sectors of activity related to its core business, making newsprint and co-products.

Norske Skog Golbey supports the development of new industries to promote the circular economy and help new businesses establish themselves in the local area. The focus is on three sectors of activity: eco-materials, green chemistry and green energy.

There are several objectives of the approach which align with our commitments:

  • Strengthening our contribution to the circular economy
  • Fostering the development of the local industrial fabric by encouraging new business to set up in the local area.
  • Creating new income streams by promoting industrial co-products and by-products and generating new services and synergies.

Our teams, based in the mill, work closely with research laboratories, universities and teaching institutions, and are in contact with new entrepreneurs and local authorities.

Below are a few examples of ongoing and completed projects

  Green chemistry

Project aim: to repurpose our timber co-products to produce a natural extract used in the cosmetics and food supplements industries.

Norske Skog Golbey has developed and filed a patent for a method to process timber co-products that cannot be used in paper production into a powder that is highly concentrated in molecules of interest. Thanks to the know-how of our partner Harmonic Pharma, we were thus able to highlight the properties of the natural extract derived from that powder, which are valuable to the cosmetics and food supplements industries.

The process is currently being assessed by different potential customers. Mass manufacturing methods are expected to be developed next year.

The Le Bois Santé© project is jointly financed by the European Union as part of the 2014-2020 ERDF-ESF Lorraine and Massif des Vosges  programme and by the FUI, the Grand Est region and the Vosges Departmental Council.

Total cost of project: €3.2 M
ERDF subsidy: €260 K
French government subsidy (FUI): €325 K
Grand Est region subsidy: €631 K
Vosges Departmental Council subsidy: €82 K

Project aim: to produce high added value molecules from the water derived from the process of defibration of wood for the cosmetics and phytosanitary industries.

This project is conducted in partnership with the IPHC (Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien) and Lermab. Samples of extracts are being assessed by different potential customers and have already been approved for use in cosmetics. The results are expected by the end of 2018. If these are conclusive, the second phase of the project will consist in building a pilot technology demonstration unit at the Golbey site.

This project has the financial support of ADEME.

Project aim: to build a bio-refinery

In partnership with Arbiom, the Bioskog project consists in a feasibility study to assess the relevance of a unit for producing sugars from wood. It has given rise to two new projects:

  • Sylfeed: a project that brings together eight European partners with the aim of building a demonstration plant to process wood into sugars and then into protein for animal feed. This project is jointly financed by the BBI (European and public partnership) to the tune of €11 M.
  • Sylchem: a project that brings together three partners. The aim of the project consists in assessing the quality of sugars and lignin (co-product) derived from the deconstruction of wood in chemical applications. €3 M of funding has been provided for this project by ADEME.

Currently, the Bioskog project is looking towards constructing a bio-refinery, particularly for the long-term production of alternative high-quality proteins intended to be used as animal feed. Trials and funding options are still under study.

The Bioskog project is jointly financed by the European Union as part of the 2014-2020 ERDF-ESF Lorraine and Massif des Vosges programme and by the Grand Est region.

Total cost of project: €800,000
ERDF subsidy: €195,000
Grand Est region susidy: €195,000


Project aim: to repurpose the ash derived from incinerating our production waste (sludge).

After research and development efforts supported by ADEME, this project led to a partnership with the Alsace company Heinrich & Bock, which uses our ash to make paving stones used for outdoor landscaping.

Other outlets and the development of other products are being studied.

This project receives funding from ADEME.


Project aim: to build a unit to produce biogas from our paper manufacturing waste.

After the first stone was laid on 13 July 2016 and months of work, we were pleased to host a number of guests at the Golbey site, including investors, partners and representatives of local bodies, to mark the inauguration of the biogas production unit on 28 June 2018.

As well as creating new income streams, this unit offers many other benefits:

  • Reducing our carbon footprint and fossil CO2 emissions,
  • Re-using our effluent in a circular economy approach,
  • Reducing our electricity consumption and the use of chemicals to treat our effluent,
  • The project is in line with our environmental and Corporate Social Responsibility commitments,
  • The project is entirely in keeping with the French government’s commitment to develop bio-energies.

The project was financially supported by the Rhine-Meuse Water Agency and ADEME.


For more information, download our 2018 CSR report 

2018 CSR report