UPM’s latest commitment to Baltic Sea Action Group diverts ship-generated wastewater discharge from sea to land

Press Release 8.6.2022 10:00 EEST

UPM is the first Finnish company, acting as a shipper and charterer, to discharge its ship-generated wastewater on land and utilise various circular economy solutions in wastewater treatment. The commitment has been published today, on the World Oceans Day, to Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG). The new model will be implemented in the ports of Rauma, Hamina, Kotka and Pietarsaari, which are the four most important ports for UPM's operations.


"Responsible waste management on maritime transport and the use of modern technology in the treatment of ship-generated waste is an obvious strategic choice for UPM,” says Lauri Rikala, Director, Global Break Bulk Shipping at UPM. "We have been cooperating actively with Baltic Sea Action Group for over ten years and made several commitments. Therefore, it was only natural that we combine our forces and expertise in this project."

"As a major shipper and charterer, this commitment of UPM affects the operations of several shipping companies, ships and ports. The company will spur other maritime transport companies who want to promote sustainable shipping, circular economy and the well-being of the Baltic Sea,” says Elisa Mikkolainen, Project Director, Maritime Affairs at BSAG. "Our aim is to make land-based discharges a permanent practice, also for cargo ships. Now we are inviting other pioneering companies like UPM to join us. Together we can make a difference!"

Utilising wastewaters through circular economy solutions

The commitment has been made for the years 2022-2026, and it will focus on promoting BSAG's Ship Waste Action initiative (SWA). The initiative aims to establish a model whereby cargo ship effluents are discharged at the port, and their nutrients are recycled through circular economy solutions. For example, UPM is exploring opportunities to use recycled nutrients from ship-generated wastewater in its own wastewater treatment plants. Thus, the company contributes to its own 2030 target of using only recycled nutrients in its wastewater treatment plants.

UPM's commitment is a significant step forward in a situation where it is still legal to discharge wastewater from cargo ships into the sea. "Technically, discharging wastewater on land is not challenging, but it requires planning and coordination. Our aim is to implement this model for the ships we operate ourselves and to engage our long-term shipping partners and individual freight service providers," says Lauri Rikala.

In addition to discharging wastewaters on land, UPM and Baltic Sea Action Group together will explore the opportunities to discharge the cargo hold washing waters on land for possible further reuse.

Download the media materials and read more about the commitment and the Ship Waste Action initiative here.

For further information, please contact:
Lauri Rikala, Director, Global Break Bulk Shipping UPM, tel. +358 (0)40 571 1421
Elisa Mikkolainen, Project Director, Maritime Affairs, BSAG, tel. +358 (0)40 660 1829

UPM, Media Relations
Mon–Fri, 9:00–16:00
Tel. +358 40 588 3284

We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Fibres, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility, we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 17,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 9.8 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils. www.upm.com

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Baltic Sea Action Group
Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG, Foundation for a Living Baltic Sea) is a non-profit foundation founded in 2008. BSAG works to bring ecological balance to the Baltic Sea by accelerating central rescue efforts. The foundation focuses on projects with the greatest impact and longevity. www.bsag.fi/en

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