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Environmental Protection

Responsible environmental protection has always been firmly anchored in the corporate culture of the Mayr-Melnhof Group and an intrinsic part of our business activity. We produce cartonboard using primarily renewable and recyclable raw materials. We use the cartonboard manufacture folding carton packaging for consumer goods, which are almost entirely recyclable after use. The use of cartonboard as a packaging material is therefore, in addition to its product-related technical and economic advantages, also a highly sustainable packaging solution in terms of protection of the environment.

As market and cost leader, we use state-of-the-art, high-performance technology and continual efficiency improvements in order to produce cartonboard and folding carton products at a high degree of competitiveness while conserving resources. Group-wide benchmarking among the locations is aimed to ensure that best practice is implemented in all plants. Although we are among the industry leaders with regard to many specific consumption and emission values, our approach is to continually make use of new potentials and to improve. In part, this is partially only possible to a limited degree or requires technological innovation.

We therefore regularly review and assess our activities as well as new products and processes regarding their impact on the environment, in order to comply with all environmental standards and to make further optimizations possible. Our business activity covers the entire supply chain and includes upstream and downstream areas such as purchasing, transport/logistics and consumption.


Currently we are focusing on continual reduction in specific raw material and energy consumption as well as process optimizations. This is accompanied by division-wide programs and environmental management systems set up at many sites and implemented in close co-operation with R&D.

As of the end of 2012, for three cartonboard mills and seven folding carton production sites, environmental management systems were certified according to ISO 14001. High operational standards and continual improvement in operational quality management are ensured throughout the Group by ISO 9001 certification. In addition, all cartonboard mills and folding carton production sites serving the food industry also are certified in accordance with the hygiene management standard HACCP/EN 15593.

We have been documenting the transparent use of virgin fibers from assured sustainably managed forests through the long-term certification of all cartonboard mills in accordance with FSC and PEFC. In order to ensure traceability throughout the entire value chain (Chain of Custody certification), the number of FSC and PEFC-certified MM Packaging production sites was extended to 15.


The carbon dioxide emission certificates with regard to the use of fossil energy had been allocated to our mills in the EU until the end of 2012. Like in the previous years, there was no shortage in 2012. A follow-up regulation for the period 2013 to 2020 is expected to be passed by the European Parliament in the first half of 2013.

MM Karton and MM Packaging took part again in last year’s evaluation of ProCarton concerning the carbon footprint of the folding carton industry which revealed a reduction in the European average of CO2-equivalent per ton of folding carton compared to 2005 (details:

Environmental aspects

MM Karton

Around 1.6 million tons of fibers are used annually for cartonboard production. Thereof, three quarters are allotted to recovered paper and one quarter to virgin fibers from sustainably managed and controlled forests. Ongoing optimization programs aim at continually improving the utilization of fibers.


Natural gas is the primary energy source used in our cartonboard mills. In combined heat and power generating plants we produce steam and electricity with high efficiency for cartonboard production. In addition to our own power generation, we also purchase power from energy supply companies. MM Karton aims to increase its own electricity supply. Under “e.fficiency”, MM Karton is seeking to further reduce its specific energy consumption per ton of cartonboard. Recent projects have focused on the use of new units with higher efficiency, heat recovery measures and preparations for ISO 50001 certification (energy management). Although the production of folding cartons requires less energy than the cartonboard production, we are also pursuing a continual reduction in consumption in this field. 


Due to closed circulation systems and efficiency improvements in the production process, total water consumption is being reduced continually. The specific use of fresh water in cartonboard production was further reduced in 2012. In the Frohnleiten mill, for example, specific fresh water consumption has been reduced in the last 20 years from 12.6 liters to 4.6 liters per kilogram of cartonboard.

Exhaust air
No environmentally harmful exhaust air emissions are generated in cartonboard production. Emissions are mainly caused by the burning of fossil fuels in energy production. The occurring emissions are monitored in accordance with legal regulations and the limit values are significantly undercut. The direct exhaust air produced by cartonboard machines consists primarily of steam. MM Karton aims at constantly minimizing its exhaust air emissions in line with the latest technological standards. For this purpose the energy consumption in the production process is evaluated continually.

Concerning the disposal of waste, the principle of “prevention before recycling before disposal” applies. Waste disposal is performed by authorized waste collectors, recyclers and disposers. Rejects from the processing of recovered paper are thermally converted.


MM Packaging

In 2012 again, MM Packaging emphasized its optimization activities on improving productivity and material usage. With regard to environment-relevant areas, focus was placed in particular on reducing the consumption of raw materials as well as on the prevention, reduction and recycling of waste material.


Detailed information regarding environmental protection is provided in the environmental statements of Frohnleiten and Hirschwang can be obtained via e-mail from or by calling +43/ 1 50136 91180.

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