Our responsibility for the environment is an intrinsic part of Hahnemühle’s history. Our production site is located in the heart of a centuries-old cultivated landscape that provides unspoilt habitats for a range of wildlife, at the edge of a nature reserve. The reason for setting up a paper mill in 1584 still stands today: we produce our paper using pure water straight from the source. Producing paper in an environmentally friendly way is therefore a high priority for us.
The water we use to produce our exceptional FineArt and filter papers comes straight from the underground springs in the Solling hill range and is characterised by its particularly high level of purity and softness. It is drawn from the middle of a unique natural landscape, which is home to an array of animals and plants and doesn’t need to be chemically treated. The paper-machine circuit in which we produce our papers is therefore closed as much as possible. The water is then treated and returned to nature, in a strictly controlled process.
Our fibres are sourced exclusively from primary fibres. Here, we use lignin-free cellulose, sourced from deciduous and coniferous trees that grow in sustainably managed forests and are FSC- or PEFC-certified. The linter types also play an essential role. Linters are fine fibres that cling to the seed of the cotton plant and occur as a by-product of the textile and oil industries. We also keep an eye out for and, in some cases, are already using, fast-growing, renewable cellulose alternatives, e.g. bamboo, hemp and agave, which help conserve resources.
We use electricity and natural gas as our sources of energy. For many years now, we have been generating all the energy we need exclusively from renewable sources, such as wind, water and solar energy. This enables us to sustainably reduce our CO2 emissions. We produce our own steam and heat using natural gas. Thanks to our waste-heat recovery system, the emissions from our furnace are considerably below the legal limits, by more than 40%.
We believe that sustainable resource management also includes recycling our own production waste and scrap materials which we then return to the production cycle or, if that isn’t possible, hand over to other waste processors.
We always choose recycled material for our products on the condition that it will not compromise their quality – for example, cardboard boxes and tubes for our paper rolls.
We are always trying to think of more environmentally friendly ways to package our paper and are quick to implement any useful new measures. For example, we fill our transport boxes using packing peanuts made from 100% biodegradable cornstarch, while our packing tape and delivery-note envelopes are both made from paper instead of plastic. We are also working on alternative protective films in which to package our paper to ensure it is still in great condition when it reaches our clients. These are all steps we’re taking in our constant effort to improve sustainability and thereby conserve our resources.
Distributing our paper to more than 80 countries across the world is a considerable challenge. Our aim is to minimise any impact made by necessary transport measures on the environment and climate. The majority of our products are transported by ship or rail. Before any shipment is transported by air, we carefully consider whether this method is economically and environmentally justifiable or whether there are more eco-friendly alternatives. Our central logistics site is in Göttingen in southern Lower Saxony, where we pool our shipments for transportation and make optimum use of our means of transport. We are especially pleased that our logistics partner has been recognised with an award for sustainability and is therefore supporting our efforts to protect the climate.