Our paper. Your dreams

Monday 24 May 2010, by Cristina Mengebar, Elisabet Armadas, Mertixell Sort, Uygar Gezer

4 inspired

a) The main facts about the activities of the company.

Torraspapel in the leader in the production and distribution of coated woodfree paper and specialty papers in the Iberian Peninsula. Their product range are very extensive, and includes coated fine papers for advertising and publishing, specialty papers and self-adhesives for labeling and flexible packaging; carbonless and thermal papers for business forms and thermal applications. Its paper production is a clear example of sustainable development, as it is produced with natural, renewable raw materials, is 100% recyclable, and it is manufactured with clean technologies.
Torraspapel belongs to the paper industry. The demand for paper has been increasing a lot, and consequently the destruction of the destruction of virgin forest ecosystems called primary forests, have risen in all over the planet. As a result, the company has reacted and has been investing in new technologies with the aim to reduce the environmental impact of its activities.
A part from its environmental commitment, Torraspapel also collaborates on an ongoing basis in solidarity projects, contributes actively to the education and training of graphic arts professionals, and participates in the United Nations Global Compact.
They have recently published an environmental memory in which they set how they advance in the protection of the environment and the new objectives and commitments regarding sustainability.
The company has been taken specific measures to achieve their goals regarding polluting emissions in the production of paper, its environmental certification about their activities, energy saving and training and communication in environmental topics. Some of the activities done are:

* Emissions reduction:
- Eliminate the use of fuel-oil by replacing it with natural gas.
- Promote recovery of solid water by sending dry sludge to disposal sites so that they promote the recovery of non-toxic waste
- Control noise emissions
- Reduce odors by the installations of a treatment plant for odor-producing gases at the Zaragoza mill, resulting in the elimination of over 90% of dor-causing gas emissions and enabling them to be used as an energy source.
- The implementation of internal measures to avoid in-process water loss and investment in equipment allowing for increased recycled water use resulted in a 26% reduction in the amount of water needed to manufacture pulp and paper

* Environmental certifications:
- Increase the amount of purchased certified wood pulp
- Obtain EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certification.
- Extend their FSC (Forest Stwership council) certification. In this field, Torraspapel obtained PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).
- Reduce energy consumption
- Promote training and raise awareness of all employees regarding environmental initiative. During 2007-2008, over 76,000 hours of safety, technology and environment-related training were scheduled.

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

The company has set some objectives for future times in terms of certifications, climate change, and transparency and to reduce environmental impact. To do so, the company is planning to develop an environmental management system accredited according to the strictest international standards and increase the amounts of purchased cellulose from certified forest plantations. Moreover it wants to quantify the emissions generated in the life cycle of their products and to reduce energy consumptions by setting specific energy consumption criteria. Besides, they are committed to communicate their environmental characteristics of the products they offer in the most transparent and comparable way. Another important field where they are setting objectives is to inform stakeholders of objectives and actions derived from environmental policy.
Their main challenge is to maintain their leadership position in reducing environmental impact and expand the parameters for measuring environmental impact by the publication of Environmental Report and other environmental leaflets on a regular basis, in addition to informing of actions and projects on the Torraspapel web site.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

Along history many times paper factories have been associated with pollution. This kind of industries unfortunately are not 100% ecological because their activity doesn?t permit them to, but the sustainable vision that Torrespapel applies in its business makes us believe that paper firms can be ethical. Torraspapel has showed us with its daily activities and through the initiatives they have been carrying, that they have a clear vocation for being a company which is respectful towards the environment and that is social committed.
Torraspapel has invested a lot in the last decades and is still investing in environmental initiatives. Their environmental policy principles can be summarized as follows:
- Obey the environmental policy and promote the continued improvement of the environmental management
- Integrate the environmental management in the policy and the decision making
- Guarantee the efficient use of natural resources for contributing to the consecution of a sustainable development
- Promote the sustainable management of the forests
- Develop secure products which are respectful with the environment
- Minimize the environmental impact of their activity
- Communicate in a transparent and periodic way the environmental practices of the company

We trust the company because from its environmental objectives, a compromise is derived which is transformed later in improvement environmental achievements, for those Torrespapel has invested more than 100 millions of Euros. They can be summarized as follows: minimization of the usage of water in the productive process, increase of the purchase of wood and cellulose which come from forest certified plantations, abolishment of the use of fuel-oil in 2007, continuity in the formation and awareness process of the employees in terms of environmental initiatives, reduction of the specific emissions of CO2 and improvement of the quality of the water within others.
But the task of Papeltorras in this field doesn?t finish here; what makes us believe that?s an ethical company is its dedicated and continued work towards the new environmental challenges the firm faces every day.

Moreover Torraspapel is a social responsible company which develops diverse projects in collaboration with ONGs, foundations and non-profit institutions with social finalities such as UNICEF, Fundaci?n Talita, Interm?n Oxfam, Acci? Natura, etc.
The company also has reforestation projects and volunteering days in which Torraspapel has planted 20.000 trees in the Iberian Peninsula and Brazil.
Also, Torraspapel is added at the ?United Nations Global Compact? since the year 2004. The company assumes the ethic compromise of adding as an integral part of its strategy, culture and its daily operations, the 10 behaviour and action principles regarding to Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Fight against Corruption.
Annually Torrespapel delivers its progress report, in which the advances done in all this matters are detailed.

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

Improvement is a continuous process. Torrespapel has managed to get some successful numbers in terms of reducing the environmental impact however they are still not perfect. The CO2 emissions, the water need or the odor reduction could be improved in the future as the state of the art develops. The cellulose purchases could be converted to 100% from certified forests. Reducing the energy consumption would both help to protect the environment and also help to the profitability of the company.
Torrespapel should also be aware of the worldwide contamination and deforestation. The firm could increase their reforestation projects and also utilize more and more recycled paper to lower the harm done to the environment.
Another issue would be employment. Currently the firm employs 2750 workers. As a part of the development process, the manufacturing could be mechanized, making some of the employees redundant. This issue should be handled carefully because although mechanization is a necessity, it would harm the employees. The workers should be announced beforehand about the future projects, and the mechanization should be realized gradually.
Torrespapel is an environmentally conscious company relative to the other paper manufacturers. What the company should not underestimate is the profitability of the firm. Development in environmental issues requires investments and these obviously increase the costs, decreasing the profits. What they could do is to choose improvement projects which help reduction of the costs or additional benefit to the company such as energy production from the wastes. While going more and more environment friendly, the profitability should always be a concern as well.
If the company keeps on following their path, it is highly probable that it will resolve the challenges it faces in time. The statistics of the company is quite satisfactory in terms of ethical concerns of a paper producing firm.


Location: Barcelona (Spain)

Sector: fabrication and distribution of paper

Official website:

Key figures:

Torraspapel is the leader in the production and distribution of coated woodfree paper and specialty papers in the Iberian Peninsula. The company owns 7 mills in Spain and it has an output capacity of over 1,100,000 tons of coated paper, pulp, specialty papers and base papers.

Torraspapel is part of the Lecta Group, which, with a production capacity of more than 1,300,000 t of coated paper, is the second-largest manufacturer in Europe.

The firm in 2009 had over 2,750 employees and owns merchant and sales offices serving the markets of Spain, Portugal, France, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Central and Eastern Europe, the USA, Morocco and Mexico. Their products are present in more than 100 countries thanks to an extensive network of representatives.

The main 2009 figures are the following:
Revenue (Millions ?): 886
EBITDA, Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (Millions ?): 76
Sales (Tones): 887,000

Nbr. visits: 1293

Nbr. inspires: 4