Alma Media offers ecologically sustainable media

The extensive stakeholder study conducted in winter 2009–2010 showed that environmental matters in the media sector are perceived as very important and Alma Media is expected to increasingly take them into consideration. 

In 2010, Alma Media set environmental matters as one of the focal points of its corporate responsibility strategy. Alma Media’s environmental responsibility is based on three principles: operational efficiency, a responsible supply chain and increasing awareness. The company aims to prevent and minimise negative environmental impacts through focusing on these three aspects.

Alma Media’s corporate responsibility network was launched in 2010. The network’s operations involve persons in key roles in environmental matters developing Alma Media’s environmental responsibility goals and implementing environmental policies and measures in practice in their own roles, such as those related to property management and printing.

Building projects big steps forward in environmental responsibility

The most significant environmental impacts of Alma Media’s and its business units’ operations are related to printing and distribution, properties (including the electricity consumption of computers and server rooms) and travel. This being the case, Alma Media’s new office building in Töölönlahti, Helsinki and the new printing facility in Tampere, scheduled to begin operations in 2013, will provide a strong foundation for the company’s environmental responsibility in the new decade. The projects are designed to minimise environmental impacts during both the construction and use of the properties, thereby reducing the Group’s environmental impact where it is the largest. LEED environmental certification will be sought for both the printing facility and the office building in Töölönlahti.

Material and energy efficiency are focal points in printing and distribution

The continuous improvement of material and energy efficiency is emphasised in Alma Manu printing facilities and in all property use by Alma Media. A printing facility’s material efficiency can be measured as a percentage of material loss, also known as the maculature percentage. The maculature percentage of Alma Manu’s existing printing facility in Tampere has fallen by 17% in a period of five years.

As the new printing facility in Tampere will begin operations, energy use, water consumption and the use of solvent based detergents are set to decrease while material efficiency improves. Water consumption in a printing facility is relatively low; a total of approximately six grams of water is required to produce one copy of a newspaper. The majority of this amount of water is tied to the newspaper itself; the moisture percentage of the paper used increases from 9% to 12% during the printing process.

The environmental impact of distribution can be minimised by continuously optimising delivery routes. A major part of delivery routes are served by bicycle and on foot. For example, motor vehicles are used on only one third of all delivery routes in Pirkanmaa. Delivery personnel are also offered training in economical driving. The total distance driven per one copy of Aamulehti is approximately 70 metres.

Responsible supply chain management

Sustainable development is taken into account in supply chain management, for instance in the choices of paper and chemicals made by the printing facility. Major purchases made for the new Tampere printing facility have environmentally friendly attributes. Environmental considerations also play a role in the company’s car policy. The emission limit for new company cars is set at 190g CO2 per kilometre at present and the goal is to lower the limit at a later time.

Alma Media’s printing facilities primarily use renewable and recyclable materials. Paper is the most significant of these. Alma Media aims to only buy sustainably produced paper whose production has been carried out with due consideration for biodiversity. Approximately 85% of the newsprint used by Alma Media is made primarily from recycled fibre. Newsprint fibre can be reused 4–7 times, after which it is used forenergy production. The company also recycles aluminium printing plates, and printing ink is used for energy production. The carefully considered disposal of products, i.e. the appropriate use and recycling of waste - can significantly reduce negative environmental impacts. For instance, the carbon footprint of a newspaper is reduced by 20% when it is recycled instead of being disposed of in a landfill. In Finland, 80–90% of all newspapers are recycled (Paperinkeräys Oy).

Alma Media strives to promote sustainable ways of operating internally by carrying out environmental training. Training organised in 2010 included training for printing personnel on material and energy efficiency, training those with company cars on economical and safe driving and educating media sales staff on the environmental impacts of newspapers and their online versions from the customer’s perspective.