EMAS-certified for 15 years: Progroup paper mill again awarded European environmental label

Progroup’s PM2 paper mill has again been awarded the European Union’s EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certificate. This once again certifies that the company makes an effective contribution to protecting the environment that far exceeds what is required by law. 

Ceremonial presentation of the certificate to acknowledge 15 years of EMAS: Heide Geber, Head of Environmental and Authority Management at Progroup, Dr. Hans-Peter Wruk, environmental expert, Maria Cordes-Tolle, M Genuma, together with Detlef Weidlich, Progroup’s PM2 site manager, Jacek Jeremicz, spokesman for the environment and energy at East Brandenburg CIC, and Kerstin Forchert, Environmental and Authority Management Officer at Progroup (from left) Photo source: Progroup / Knut Leeder

The paper mill first received the European environmental label back in 2008 – so during the actual planning phase for PM2. Since then, Progroup has provided information annually about the implementation of its EMAS measures and had them reviewed by an independent body. Every three years, the company undergoes an in-depth recertification audit with an accredited environmental expert. This audit has now been completed successfully again. This means that PM2 has been EMAS-certified continuously for 15 years. 

“Doing business in an efficient and eco-conscious way has always been important to us as a family company – and this is also why we aspire to gradually optimise our products and production in a sustainable way,” says Maximilian Heindl, CEO of Progroup. “We decided to adopt EMAS to voluntarily pledge to continue to reduce the amount of energy we consume, save precious resources like water and minimise waste.” 

Shining example of the circular economy

In practical terms, this firmly held belief is reflected not just in the innovative high-tech machines of PM2 that manufacture products in a way that conserves resources. It’s also demonstrated by the extremely sustainable nextfibre® papers that are produced there. They are much lighter compared to customary papers and yet are extremely high-performing. The company only ever uses recovered paper as the raw material for making them. The end products score points with their material advantage that is evident during transport, for example, and saves CO2. Once the papers have been used, they can be recycled again as recovered paper. This makes them an excellent product for recycling. 

The energy required for papermaking is supplied largely from the neighbouring waste-to-energy plant by thermally utilising waste materials – including from the paper mill. The power plant has also been EMAS-certified right from the start. 

The certificate is awarded by the East Brandenburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC). Jacek Jeremicz, spokesman for the environment and energy at the CIC, attended the final EMAS recertification meeting and offered the following praise: “Progroup is a model business; it is one of the premier companies in Germany.” 

About Progroup

Progroup AG, located in Landau, Germany, is one of the leading manufacturers of containerboard and corrugated board in Europe. Since it was founded in 1991 in Offenbach/Queich, the company has been pursuing a consistent growth strategy which, in addition to technological leadership, is also based on the use of innovative and environmentally friendly production technologies. Progroup operates production sites in six countries in Central Europe. These currently include three paper factories, twelve corrugated sheetfeeder plants, a logistics company and a waste-to-energy power plant. The company’s second power plant is currently being constructed in Sandersdorf-Brehna near Leipzig. With 1,700 employees, the company generated sales of around 1.8 billion euros in 2022.