At the heart of the industrial and local ecology

Our mill is located just outside Epinal, on an industrial park between Golbey and Chavelot. About ten years ago, we decided to base part of our competitiveness on the creation of shared value within our local territory.

Working with Epinal’s local authority, we are working to develop an ecosystem of exchange and production to optimise our resources and flows sustainably and reduce our impact on the environment.

In 2014, our approach won a major circular economy award, and in 2015 it was cited as an example at COP 21 in Paris for its innovative, systemic and cross-functional nature.

The Green Valley

The Green Valley is an Industrial and Territorial Ecology (ITE) initiative aiming to develop an ecosystem around our site based on the theme of fibres and green energy.

The most obvious example was the establishment of Pavatex, a Soprema Group subsidiary manufacturing wood-fibre insulation panels, in 2013, next to our production site. There are many synergies between Pavatex and Norske Skog Golbey, mainly involving the voluntary sharing of:

  • skills,
  • infrastructure,
  • facilities,
  • materials,
  • energy.

For example, we supply Pavatex with the steam it needs. We also treat its effluent and pool our expertise in wood procurement.

For both Pavatex and us, these synergies lead to greater productivity and competitiveness. This is a win-win relationship. If more proof was needed of the benefits, after building its second plant next door to the first, Pavatex is now building a third production line at the Ecoparc on the other side of the road, which was set up by the local authority in line with the ITE approach.

An Ecoparc to develop the ITE approach

norske skog golbey odd PLAN ECOPARC MAJ 2024 1

To take this approach further, the Epinal local authority has in recent years been considering setting up a 73-hectare “Ecoparc” close to our mill. It will be home to manufacturers in the timber, fuelwood and green chemistry industries.

Construction of the Ecoparc began in early 2023. An area of 33 hectares has been serviced to build a new-generation business park. Pavatex will be the first company to begin operating here with the construction of its third production line. But other projects are already in the pipeline. The local authority expects to help create around 90 new jobs.

The proximity to our site and the Green Valley means that we can already imagine synergies, as the more players there are gathered within an easily accessible geographical area, the greater the number of options. We will look into the possibility of pooling energy (electricity, heat and gas), logistics solutions and raw material resources to the best of our ability.

Our approach to industrial synergies is based on pragmatism, including a case-by-case analysis of needs and a measurement of the impact and availability of our assets, which are not unlimited.

Thanks to this Industrial and Territorial Ecology approach, companies can reduce the costs of materials, energy and skills.

By pooling certain assets (biomass boiler, logistics solutions, infrastructure) and know-how, we can limit our industrial impact on the environment while supporting the economic development of our region.

This approach stimulates the local economy and builds on existing industrial resources. The local authority plays an important role by coordinating the network, putting companies in touch with each other and helping them to put their projects together.