Pulp & Paper Products

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Pulp & Paper Products industry entities manufacture a range of wood pulp and paper products, including pulp fibre, paper packaging and sanitary paper, office paper, newsprint, and paper for industrial applications. Entities in the industry typically function as business-to-business entities and may have operations in multiple countries. Although some integrated entities own or manage timber tracts and are engaged in forest management, sustainability issues arising from these activities are addressed in the Forestry Management (RR-FM) industry.

Relevant Issues (5 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Pulp & Paper Products

GHG Emissions
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    The manufacturing of pulp and paper products generates direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the combustion of fossil fuels and biomass in stationary and mobile engines, cogeneration boilers, and other processing equipment. Entities in this industry also typically use significant amounts of carbon-neutral biomass for their energy needs, the use of which may reduce the costs associated with purchasing fossil fuels, as well as mitigate regulatory risk associated with carbon emissions. Emissions associated with fossil fuel sources may add regulatory compliance costs, depending on the magnitude of emissions and the prevailing emissions regulations. Entities that cost-effectively manage GHG emissions through greater energy efficiency, alternative fuels use or manufacturing process improvements may benefit from improved operating efficiency and reduced regulatory compliance costs.
Air Quality
  • Air Quality

    Pulp and paper products mills generate air emissions including sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The sources of emissions include cogeneration fuel boilers, pulp and paper pressure chambers, wood chip pulping, pulping chemical recovery, and process engines. Although emissions from the industry have declined considerably in recent years, emissions abatement expenditures may be significant, while evolving air-quality regulations can create regulatory uncertainty. Entities that can cost-effectively reduce air emissions may improve operational efficiency, benefit from a lower cost structure and mitigate regulatory risk.
Energy Management
  • Energy Management

    Pulp and paper products manufacturing is energy-intensive. In most facilities, entities generate energy primarily from the combustion of biomass and fossil fuels, although purchased electricity also may be used in some facilities. Decisions regarding on-site electricity generation versus sourcing it from the grid, as well as the use of biomass and other renewable energy, may create trade-offs related to the energy supply’s cost and reliability for operations and the extent of the regulatory risk from Scope 1 or other air emissions. The way an entity manages energy efficiency, its reliance on varied types of energy and the associated sustainability risks, and its access to alternative energy sources, may mitigate the effects of energy cost variability.
Water & Wastewater Management
  • Water Management

    Pulp and paper products manufacturing is typically water-intensive in materials processing, process cooling and steam generation at on-site energy plants. Entities require ample, stable water supplies and may produce large volumes of wastewater, the majority of which is treated and returned to the environment. Process water typically contains dissolved organic compounds and other solids, underscoring the importance of water treatment. In addition to water effluents, water availability is an important consideration because water scarcity may result in higher supply costs, supply disruptions or tension with local water users. Entities may adopt various strategies to address water supply and treatment issues, such as cost-effectively enhancing the recycling of process water, improving production techniques to lower water intensity, and ensuring compliance with water-effluent regulations.
Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain Management

    Pulp and paper products entities source wood and wood fibre from forestry management entities, paper fibre recyclers and forests that the entities themselves manage. Supply chain risks include decreased productivity of forestlands because of management practices or climate change, regulations addressing sustainable forest management, and reputational effects. To mitigate such risks and satisfy growing customer demand for sustainably sourced fibre and paper products, manufacturers implement forest certification and fibre chain-of-custody standards which verify that virgin and recycled fibre originate from sustainably managed forests. In addition, pulp and paper manufacturers may face trade-offs from the use of recovered fibre. Products with recycled content are increasingly in demand, providing a possible avenue for product differentiation, while using recycled fibre can minimise the need for virgin fibre. Conversely, manufacturing products with a greater recycled content may increase waste generation and energy consumption, while recycled fibre can be costlier, given demand–supply gaps. Therefore, entities may benefit by optimising recycled fibre use to balance its environmental and economic trade-offs.

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Current Industry: Pulp & Paper Products

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