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Papelera del Nervión, a PEFC certified company

NERPEL® commitment with PEFC certification

Papelera del Nervión has always been committed to Sustainability in terms of Environmental Commitment, without ignoring the premise of social commitment. That's why we 100% agree with the values that this certification promotes.

Nervión PEFC Chain of Custody Certification, for a Sustainable Forest Management

We want to make special mention of the PEFC-certified paper products that we transform and which use we historically and actively promote.

PEFC Certified Papers: “PEFC, Passion for Forests”                         

PEFC is the most implemented forest certification system in the world. The goal of PEFC is to ensure that the world's forests are managed responsibly, and that their many functions are protected for present and future generations. PEFC provides with the framework for the application of internationally agreed common standards, to all its national certification systems, and to forest managers and forest product processing companies.
Products of forest origin (wood, paper, cork, mushrooms, resins, essences...) certified by PEFC guarantee to consumers that they are buying products from sustainably managed forests. By choosing PEFC, buyers help to combat illegal logging and to promote the main functions of forest resources such as:
  • Contribute to the maintenance of numerous ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • The livelihood of many rural populations and the origin of a very important processing industry.
  • Have an increasingly recognized social and cultural role.

PEFC Spain in figures:

  • Certified hectares: 2.222.593
  • Forest managers: 30.245
  • Companies and facilities: 1.399

Why use PEFC certified products?

Choosing PEFC certified products, companies and consumers show their commitment to the environment.

Products with the PEFC brand and/or label provide customers and end consumers with the guarantee that such material comes from sustainably managed forests and/or controlled sources. The PEFC certification also includes social and occupational health and safety requirements, even form conflict zones.

The objective of communicating the origin of the material is to promote the supply and demand of products from sustainably managed forests and thus foster continuous improvement in the management of the world's forest resources through market momentum.

Purchasing PEFC certified products:

  • We help conserve and improve forest masses.
  • We encourage the maintenance of biodiversity and the conservation of resources such as water or soil.
  • We help fight illegal logging and fires.
  • We benefit people, generating employment and social welfare.
  • The care of the environment allows the development of rural populations, as well as new forms of leisure related to the enjoyment of nature.
  • We improve the competitiveness of forest products by providing them with environmental, social and economic guarantees.
  • We consolidate and improve the positive image of forest and forest products as a natural, ecological and renewable raw material.
  • We collaborate in the conservation, sustainable use and improvement of our forests.
  • We help to respect the fundamental rights of workers throughout the supply chain.


Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030

The link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 and PEFC's work is evident based on the vision of a world in which people manage forests in a sustainable way.
  • PEFC directly refers to target 15 on sustainable forest management, protection of terrestrial ecosystems and combating desertification and loss of biological diversity.
  • There are other objectives linked to the work of PEFC and forests, such as the elimination of poverty (SDG1);
  • contribution to food security through forest products (SDG 2);
  • forests contribute to health and well-being (ecotourism, medicine...) (SDG 3);
  • gender equality (SDG5);
  • clean water and sanitation: 75% of the world's drinking water comes from forest basins (SDG 6);
  • the production of clean energy using forest biomass (SDG 7);
  • decent work and job creation (SDG8);
  • the PEFC label allows responsible consumption (SDG 12);
  • contribution to the fight against climate change (SDG 13).
  • In addition, wood is the most important renewable building material to make cities more sustainable (SDG 11).
  • Finally, as a global partnership that integrates various stakeholders, PEFC facilitates partnerships to achieve SDGs 2030 (SGD 17).

Paper, an old companion of humanity.

For centuries paper has been the main support for storing information. It has its origins in China, in the 2nd century BC. Formerly a wide variety of materials was used for its manufacture: waste of fabric, hemp, silk, rice or cotton. Later on there were fibres of the genus Morus tree. By the 7th century its use spread throughout Japan and Central Asia. The great conquests of the Arabs transported this and many other Asian inventions to the West.

The first paper mill in Western Europe was established in Xativa (Valencian community, Spain), around 1056. Centuries later, the invention of the printing press triggered its demand, but paper remained being a product within the reach of few people. In the mid-19th century, the introduction of mechanical and chemical methods for pulp manufacturing enabled paper and cardboard to be transformed into everyday products and for multiple applications.

Looking to the future, the paper and cardboard sector is a perfect example of what this industry is going to bring to society:

  • Industries that produce bioproducts that have a lower ecological footprint because they are natural and massively recycled.
  • Industries that create wealth in the environment where they operate with fixed, well-paid employment.
  • Industries investing in research and development.
  • Industries that above all respond to the environmental challenges of our society:
    • Lead the necessary and essential decarbonization to fight climate change.
    • Lead circular economy processes to respond to the environmental challenges.

Sustainable Forest Management

Paper’s raw material is wood, that’s why the paper industry is necessarily linked to forest management.

Plantations are uniform masses with a single species and are considered artificial forests. Properly managed, located in the right places and not replacing primary or secondary forests, their cultivation helps to slow soil erosion and acts as a sink of carbon dioxide: The Spanish pine and eucalyptus plantations store about 46 million tonnes of CO2. The carbon stored in the plantations, remains in the paper products and the storage time is extended with their recycling.

  • By the process of photosynthesis the carbon of the atmosphere is fixed in the plant tissues of the trees (mainly in the trunk). And that fixed CO2 is transformed into oxygen.
  • Plantations for paper production and derivatives are of short cycle. Young trees have a faster metabolism and are able to fix, in less time, more carbon.
  • Therefore, short-cycle plantations reach their optimum felling time, between 10 and 20 years, and thus cause the carbon that has been fixed in these first years to stay in the wood and be transmitted to all the products in which that wood is transformed to.
  • When the tree is felled by applying a sustainable forest management, some of the biomass remains in the soil to provide nutrients to the next plantation, which will start the carbon-fixing process again. It’s a renewable cycle that continues again and again, as long as the soil and the climate allow it.

This goes against the myth that using plantation wood favours deforestation, quite the contrary, the message is clear; using wood and its derivatives, allows a regeneration of the forest, plantations and forest masses obtaining a greater social benefit.

What is a sustainable forest?

A forest that is maintained and persists over time, that its social and economic or environmental functions are maintained now and in the future for generations to come.

  • Forest certification serves as guarantee for the final consumer and ensures that the product you consume comes from a forest managed in this way.
  • The Spanish paper and paste industry is supplied with 100% controlled wood and 63% certified wood.
  • According to the Spanish Society of Forestry Sciences, since the 1980s, due to the abandonment of agricultural uses, the natural regeneration of the forest and reforestation activities, the forest area has increased and today reaches around 18 million hectares..

Spain is the third European Union country in wooded forest area, only after Sweden and Finland.

Paper manufacturing

The manufacture of paper from cellulose fibres basically consists of the removal of the water that accompanies the paste, formed by those fibres. It’s a conceptually simple process, but its manufacture requires high-tech machinery and therefore a high investment.

  • Upon arrival at the factory, logs are debarked and splintered.
  • A network of conveyor belts will stack the splinters in mountains.
  • And by mechanical or semi-chemical methods, the cellulose paste is separated from lignin, the natural glue that binds the plant fibres.
  • Gravity, vacuum, pressure and thermal drying remove moisture from the paste. Depending on its use, external treatments such as glued or coated are applied.
  • In the end, the paper is stored in large coils to be used.
  • Water is an essential part of the whole process. Some of the necessary water is extracted from the sediment moisture and another part is added. The pulp and paper manufacturing facilities in Spain have been working and investing for many years to reduce water use, achieving a 38% reduction in consumption per tonne of the product.
  • As for any large industrial activity, the manufacture of paper requires intense energy use. For its raw material, a feature of the paper industry is the use of its own biomass, which currently represents a 33% of the fuels used.
  • Waste derived from the process is very valuable. 81% are used as fuel in the factories themselves or in other sectors; are used for agricultural uses, transformed into compost, or recycled in other industries.
  • The highlight of paper and cardboard is its ability to be recycled. In Spain, seven out of every eight kilos we consume are collected and recycled after use.
  • In terms of its biodegradability, the biological origin of cellulose and its ability to be reused, make paper emerge as an important material in an economy based on sustainability criteria.

Source: "The Protective Forest", RTVE, 

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