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 UPM Plywood to use renewable diesel for rail transport reduces carbon dioxide emissions
[April 25, 2024]

The Finnish railway operator VR commits to using the same amount of renewable diesel for its train traffic as the transport of WISA plywood between Pellos and Kouvola consumes. The initiative is part of UPM Plywood¡¯s continuous efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

UPM Plywood and the Finnish railway operator VR have agreed that VR will replace the fossil diesel it uses with renewable diesel to the same extent as the renewable diesel used to transport plywood from the UPM Pellos mill in Finland. The agreement, together with a more efficient operating model, will reduce the total emissions of WISA® plywood transport in Finland by 24 percent.

In addition to the new transport contract, UPM Pellos has improved its rail transport operating model by increasing the filling rate of trains and improving traction efficiency, which means using one locomotive instead of two. UPM Pellos is located in Ristiina and transports plywood by rail to the warehouse in Kouvola and to the port in Kotka.

This significant move is yet another step on the journey towards a future beyond fossils, where UPM Plywood continuously improves the responsibility of its entire value chain.

"UPM Plywood is constantly striving to reduce its carbon footprint. Emissions in the supply chain are mainly generated from raw material sourcing and product transport. The more efficient operating model for rail transport in Pellos and the introduction of renewable diesel are good examples of constructive cooperation between companies to reduce emissions in a concrete way," says Juha Vallittu, Logistics Manager at UPM.

Only about 60 percent of Finland's rail network is electrified, so it is necessary to find other responsible alternatives to electricity. This is the first HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) contract for VR's rail logistics, which will bring the customer's transport emissions to almost zero.

"Our goal is to offer our customers responsible solutions and to continuously develop new operating models together. As other alternative propulsion technologies for rail transport, such as battery and hydrogen locomotive technology, are still in the development phase, biofuel is currently the most practical solution for non-electrified lines," says Joni Lehtonen, Commercial Director at VR Transpoint.

UPM Plywood is part of the UPM Group, which is committed to reducing emissions from its value chains by 30 percent by 2030. VR is involved in halving transport emissions by 2030 and working towards a carbon-neutral Finland by 2035. Both companies are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: upm.com