Raw materials

By far the most important raw material in making high-performance materials is the fiber.

Overall, we spent approximately EUR 514 million on raw materials in 2016. Expenditure on pulp and natural fibers was about EUR 213 million, on synthetic fibers about 142 million and on chemicals about EUR 159 million. Energy expenditure was about EUR 77 million. Overall, raw materials and energy account for about 60% of our total cost base.

By far the most important raw material for us is fiber with about 70% of the total. In 2016, 79% of the fibers we used as raw material came from renewable sources, compared with 82% in 2015. The vast majority, or about 90% of the renewable fibers, is wood pulp from forests. We source pulp from suppliers principally located in the Nordic countries and South and North America. Viscose fiber used in some specialties is also made from forest fiber.

Other natural fibers that we use include annual fibers such as abaca, cotton linters, jute and some sisal and flax. Abaca, which is used in our food grades, is clearly the most important of them. Abaca is sourced from the Philippines as well as Ecuador.

We buy our synthetic fiber from producers that are located in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Our main chemical suppliers are very large companies, but chemicals are also purchased from medium-sized specialty producers, generally based in Europe and North America.

Read more in Annual Report.

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