Sustainable resource management and resource efficiency are essential for sustainable development. That is why VPK Group is committed to putting all of its resources – including energy, water and materials – to the best possible use.
Responsible production starts with a sound use of energy. In that regard, VPK Group has built its energy strategy on three principles:
How do we put this into practice? VPK's largest paper mill - in Oudegem (Belgium) - is energy self-sufficient, making it one of the most energy-efficient paper mills in Europe. This is thanks to the way primary energy is converted to secondary energy, combined with optimisation of the production process. It has its own installations to generate 120 tons of steam per hour and 25 MW of electricity.
Clean water is an increasingly scarce resource. So, we feel it is our obligation to reuse rain water, and recycle and reuse our industrial waste water as much as we can. In addition, we are actively reducing our consumption of municipal and groundwater. All these efforts are enabling us to limit our impact on the (local) environment.
One of our best practices? At our corrugated packaging plant in Longjumeau near Paris, the installation of a closed loop water treatment system allows us to entirely reuse the industrial cleaning water for new glue preparation. The cleaning water from the converting machines is first collected. It is then recycled and injected directly into the second glue preparation phase. Through this innovative process, no industrial waste water is discharged. Moreover, the plant uses 70% less fresh water, significantly less starch, and cleaning times are half what they used to be.
Also, through various investments, our biggest paper mill in Belgium is almost entirely independent on groundwater use.
Recycled paper is the basis of all our packaging products. Our paper mills are at the forefront of innovation in terms of energy efficiency. We continuously invest to close the production loop, supporting the circular economy, and putting all of our resources – including energy, water, materials and waste streams – to the best possible use.