Author: Professor Olli Dahl, Aalto University

Environmental control and management

Everything you need to know about the latest forest industry related environmental issues, possibilities and challenges

 

 

It is important to understand that there will always be some level of environmental load associated with industrial operations and activities. This load has to be recognised and its quantity and quality controlled in the best practicable way. What is the environmental load arising from forest industry, what does it consist of and from where does it originate? Environmental control and management theme provides detailed information on environmental issues related to pulp and paper/board mills.

Traditionally, the main function of process industry has been to produce as much high-quality product as possible. As a result, there are today many regulatory controls which directly or indirectly guide industrial production in the area of the European Union, and the application of these principles limits the undesirable environmental effects of process industry to acceptable levels. More recently, the objective has been to manufacture high-quality products through the optimal use of raw materials, chemicals and energy, while minimising environmental impacts. This positive trend supports the effort to introduce sustainable practices and to move towards the goal of sustainable development, taking into account the whole value chain from raw material to product.

The Environmental control and management theme presents the environmental issues, possibilities and challengers facing the pulp and paper industry. The theme also covers the main regulatory controls in the European Union area, including the Industrial Emission (IE) Directive and BAT (Best Available Techniques), as well as the role of environmental management systems and other tools.

This theme is organised into nine sections

Environmental control

The Environmental control theme contains comprehensive information on the amounts and composition of environmental loads from specific processes, including the main effects of effluents, air emissions and solid wastes on the environment. The main technical methods and unit processes for controlling environmental loads are covered. Finally, this theme presents the latest issues, possibilities and challenges facing the pulp and paper industry.

Environmental management

Environmental management systems are part of organisational level (for example, industry and companies) management systems and they are integrated into management systems. These systems can be used to operationalise environmental management including management, assessment and reporting of environmental performance and impacts. Environmental management systems establish frameworks for organised and systemic environmental management and they are useful for both internal and external purposes and applications in organisations.

Sustainability management

Sustainability is based on the concept of sustainable development and it encompasses economic, social and environmental dimensions. Sustainable development is an overarching development goal while sustainability operationalises this goal through economic, social and environmental elements that can be managed and measured. Therefore, sustainability management and assessment are essential for overall sustainable development and for sustainable development in specific sectors such as industry.

Circular economy management and assessment

Circular economy (CE) is a new way of designing and making things and it aims at creating a new system and works within the planetary boundaries. The new system needs to be working for the business, people and the environment.

EU policy framework

The EU policy framework is very broad and includes multiple policy areas and instruments. In general, EU policies strongly promote sustainable development, addressing climate change challenges and protection of the environment.

EU legal framework

The EU is committed to a high level of improvement and protection of the quality of the environment. The EU legal framework promotes, for example, sustainable development, poverty eradication, human rights and protection of the quality of the environment.

Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) are part of international law and they aim at achieving some environmental goal. MEAs are agreements between states and they can also include international organisations. For example, the EU is a party to many international environmental agreements and it has acknowledged that most environmental problems have a transboundary nature and a global scope.

Environmental control and management in Finland