When you hold a newspaper, a sheet of paper or a package in your hand, it may have started out as a branch in one of the forests belonging to a Södra member. After being felled in the forest, pulpwood is transported by truck to Södra’s pulp mills.
The wood raw material contains the cellulose fibres that become pulp. The production process is based on separating these cellulose fibres from by-products. The by-products are then taken care of in a number of other cycles, one of which is energy. Even chemicals are recycled. Production is highly automated and almost everything is controlled and managed by computers.
The first thing that happens when pulp comes to the mill is that the bark is removed. It is collected and burned to create heating energy, sometimes after having been pressed into pellets. The wood that is stripped of its bark is chopped into chips. To separate the cellulose fibres in the wood, the chips are cooked. The cellulose is then washed and bleached. When the last unwanted by-products have been removed from the pulp, it is dried and cut into appropriately-sized sheets that are strapped together into bales for transporting on to paper mills.
Södra does not own any paper mills. All the pulp we produce is sold on to our customers throughout the world (this is called market pulp). When it reaches the customer the pulp is transformed into new products such as newsprint, paperboard, copier paper, coffee filters and disposable nappies: End products that you no doubt come across regularly in everyday life, perhaps without even thinking that the raw materials have come from a forest in southern Sweden.