Pulp & paper

Biomass materials are the main feedstock to the pulp and paper industry. Over the last almost two-decades the sector has experienced a decoupling of energy use from production thanks to energy efficiency improvements and process integration measures.

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Key findings

Final energy demand in pulp and paper in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030


Reduced energy use by the pulp and paper industry will require greater recycling and waste heat recovery

Final energy use in pulp and paper grew by 1.8% in 2017, while paper and paperboard output increased 2.3%. For comparison, during 2000‑16 energy use grew 0.1% per year on average, while production expanded 1.4% per year. In the Sustainable Development Scenario, energy use needs to decline 0.4% per year to 2030, with paper and paperboard production increasing 0.9% annually. This will require greater recycling, as recycled production requires considerably less energy. Using a higher share of bioenergy and adopting waste heat recovery technologies will also be important.