Our environmental commitments

After close to thirty years in business, we have demonstrated that the plant is economically competitive and fully integrated into its ecosystem. We are subject to very stringent regulations and have invested, ever since our inception, in processes that enable us to considerably reduce our environmental impacts and improve our industrial performance. Our environment management system has ISO 14001 certification.

Climate and carbon footprint

The manufacturing of newsprint involves significant consumption of energy and water, and also the use of raw materials, particularly in the form of virgin and recycled fibres, and means of transport.

In order to assess the consequences of our business on the ecosystem, we measure our carbon footprint based on the environmental impact that is the result of our choices of materials, energy consumption, selected modes of transport and the waste produced. Thus, every two or three years, we carry out a Bilan Carbone® assessment based on the ADEME method, with the first calculations dating from 2006. From 2018, the assessment will become annual, to monitor our performance trends and the action plan implemented.

Our aim is to reduce our carbon footprint by 30 % between 2006 and 2020.

In order to achieve that objective, we are essentially working in two broad areas;

  • Optimising our energy consumption, particularly by preferring the use of energy from non-fossil sources. That is so of almost 80 % of the energy used to produce steam, thanks to the use of a co-generation boiler in which we reuse non-hazardous waste (non-hazardous wood at the end of its life (windows, furniture, board), treatment plant sludge, de-inking sludge, bark, recycled paper pulping refuse).Besides, we have also worked on the optimisation of our steam distribution system, thereby reducing heat losses by 92 %.Lastly, we have been running a programme called “Opti’Watt” for many years in order to set up a culture and systems to optimise our energy efficiency in the company.
  • The use of alternative transport solutions allows on-time procurements and deliveries for the best cost, with the least environmental impact. Thus, we have put in place action such as:
    • The development of rail transport, accounting for approximately 35 % of our transport solutions
    • The use of lorries compliant with the Euro 6 standard, which defines the most stringent pollution limits in respect of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particle emissions.
    • In 2019, we will start using a fleet of gas-powered trucks along with our partners for the procurement of recovered papers from the Rhone-Alps region.

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Emissions into the air and water: protecting the quality of the environment

Newsprint manufacturing requires large quantities of water, because newsprint pulp is made up of 99 % water and 1 % fibres. Norske Skog Golbey abstracts water from a gravel pit, uses it and recycles as much of it as possible while manufacturing paper. After a last clean-up in the water treatment plant of the facility, 81 % of the abstracted water is given back to the Moselle river. Since the start of our second paper making machine in 1999, the optimisation of our manufacturing process has allowed us to reduce our water use per tonne of paper produced by 27 %, putting us among the most efficient paper mills in that regard.

The quality of the water discharged is continuously monitored by sensors and tested daily in our laboratory and verified by independent laboratories. Quality tests of the water in the Moselle are carried out every year upstream and downstream from our plant, and show no impact attributable to our effluent.

Atmospheric discharge from our boilers is continuously monitored by inline sensors and analysed every quarter by approved external contractors. In order to assess the potential impact of atmospheric fallout around the site, a specialised laboratory measures the heavy metal content in vegetables and plants, and the dioxin content in milk from a dairy farm located towards the lee in relation to prevailing winds. No impact attributable to our atmospheric discharge has been found to date, and all the results comply with the health limits.

Waste management: reduction and repurposing


Over 99% of our waste is repurposed:

  • Internally (power generation): water treatment sludge, de-inking sludge, bark, salvaged paper pulping waste.
  • Or externally (mainly material repurposing): metal, cardboard etc.

The remaining less than 1% is made up of miscellaneous non-hazardous waste that is mixed or where there is as yet no identified repurposing stream. It could for instance include used fabric or felt (or cladding) used with paper machines. Our objective is to further reduce the volume of that waste by working with partners on the possible repurposing of certain targeted waste.

Example of ash reuse project:

The 50,000 tonnes of ash produced every year are currently reused for road construction and in cement plants, where their hydraulic properties (hardening in contact with water) are of interest to local partners. At the same time, we have initiated R&D work to incorporate our ash into paving stones and breezeblocks. The work is done with several other partners and supported by ADEME and has been successful, allowing us to think of setting up a new stream for repurposing our ash.