Maximum added value, minimum environmental impact: Mercer focuses on sustainable resource management and circular economy

Our operations in Germany, encompassing the Mercer Rosenthal and Stendal pulp mills, Mercer Timber Products, and Mercer Torgau, are prime examples of our dedication to strategic resource management and circular economy principles. By leveraging our geographic positioning, we focus on waste reduction and resource circularity, leading to transportation efficiencies crucial for emission reduction.

Our optimized logistics, linking Mercer Timber Products, Mercer Torgau, and our pulp mills, achieve shorter transport routes, improved load management, and a more efficient supply chain. This holistic strategy reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions, further solidifying our commitment to sustainable resource management.

At Mercer Timber Products, the process of timber conversion (transforming raw timber logs into usable products, such as lumber, beams, planks, and other forms of processed wood) results in the production of by-products such as sawdust and wood chips. Rather than discarding these valuable materials, they are efficiently redirected to Mercer Torgau.  Here, they are repurposed into biofuels such as pellets or briquettes, demonstrating a practical and strategic application of resource efficiency in our operations. This method ensures the efficient use of all timber, including grades not suited for premium products, thereby minimizing waste and optimizing the value derived from each resource. 

Complementing these efforts, the Rosenthal and Arneburg mills play a pivotal role in our circular resource strategy. They specialize in converting residual fibers from Mercer Timber Products into high-quality pulp. This process maximizes the use of wood fibre, ensuring no resources are left unused or wasted, ultimately optimizing our resource utilization and contributing to the overall sustainability of our operations.

In response to the challenges posed by climate change, which have affected European forests for decades, forest owners began altering their silviculture practices over 30 years ago. This shift led to a steady decline in the availability of certain wood types, especially softwood species, creating a competitive environment for these valuable resources. At Mercer, we are acutely aware of these dynamics and have strategically adapted our operations. We prioritize the production of high-value wood products that are designed for cascading use. This means the wood, initially utilized for one purpose, can be continually reused and recycled. Only at the end of its lifecycle is the wood product utilized for energy generation, thus ensuring maximum utility and sustainable resource management. 

This approach is not just about the efficient use of wood; it’s about respecting the yield and fiber of each tree, ensuring that our products contribute positively to the sustainability cycle before they are ultimately used for energy.

Carsten Merforth

Chief Operating Officer Wood Products