Constrained resources and environmental impacts

Over the past century, the global economy has undergone unprecedented growth. Using and discarding raw materials at an ever-increasing rate has led to resource scarcity, pollution, biodiversity loss, degradation of land and water, and climate change. Today, using raw materials and energy efficiently is crucial for sustainable business growth to meet stakeholders’ expectations.

Why is this important to our stakeholders? +
Why is this important to Mondi? +
Our commitments & performance +
constrained_ress.jpg Managing water risks in South Africa +
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  • Economic activity depends on services provided by nature, estimated to be worth around US$125 trillion a year1
  • Business must play a key role in reversing environmental degradation and developing sustainable models of growth
  • As population increase drives competition for natural resources, companies must use them fairly and efficiently

1) From WWF Living Planet Report 2018

  • Our business is resource intensive and we impact on water, air and land
  • Water is vital to our production processes and we operate in water scarce regions where its availability can be a risk factor
  • Stricter regulation is driving investments in environmental abatement technology
  • Environmental incidents pose a risk to people, the environment, our reputation and financial liabilities

Our commitments

Against a 2015 baseline we’ll reduce:

  • Specific1 contact water consumption from our pulp and paper mills by 5%
  • Specific waste to landfill by 7.5%

  • Specific NOx emissions from our pulp and paper mills by 7.5%
  • Specific effluent load to the environment (measure COD) by 5%

Our performance


  • 2.0%2 reduction of specific contact water consumption against the 2015 baseline
  • 1.3%3 increase of specific waste to landfill against the 2015 baseline
  • 16.3%4 reduction of specific NOx emissions against the 2015 baseline
  • 6.1%5 increase of specific effluent load against the 2015 baseline


1) Specific is the measurement of emissions or consumption, normalised for tonnes of saleable production Mondi Group
2) Progress including Raubling in the commitment’s base year: 0.3% increase; 2015 figure: 33.15
3) Progress including Raubling in the commitment’s base year: 4.7% increase; 2015 figure: 36.52
4) Progress including Raubling in the commitment’s base year: 13.5% reduction; 2015 figure: 1.98
5) Progress including Raubling in the commitment’s base year: 8.9% increase; 2015 figure: 7.31

In focus Managing water risks in South Africa

In South Africa, we manage approximately 254,000 hectares of eucalyptus and pine plantations which supply timber to our Richards Bay mill. Our plantations are vulnerable to reduced water supply and climate change may reduce rainfall and increase temperatures in coming decades, potentially affecting timber yield. Extended water shortages in South Africa also remain a concern for the operatio of our mills. To manage the risks, we have reduced our total freshwater consumption in our South African mills by 8% and our specific water consumption in our Richards Bay mill by 4% from 2015 to 2018. This has been achieved mainly by implementing closed loops and increased recycling of water used in our processes.

We also work hard to reduce the water consumption in our nurseries, which provide us with seedlings for replanting after harvesting trees in our plantations. We upgraded the greenhouse irrigation systems from the traditional misting system to a more efficient fogging system and installed a precision fertilizer dosing machine with drip irrigation in the sand beds. We also introduced rainwater harvesting, with an overall capacity to store two million litres of rain water, to reduce our dependence on boreholes and potable water sources. These measures have helped us improve water efficiency in the greenhouses.

Related case studies

Modernising our wastewater treatment plant at Syktyvkar, Russia


  • Target 6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated waste water and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
  • Target 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase wateruse efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of fresh water to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
  • Target 6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
  •  Target 8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10‑Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, with developed countries taking the lead
  • Target 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • Target 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • Target 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimise their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • Target 12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse