Trinseo | Paper and Board Mass Balance and the Road to Carbon Neutrality
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Thought Leadership

March 15, 2022

Paper and Board Mass Balance and the Road to Carbon Neutrality

Olli Siiskonen, EMEA Commerical Leader, Paper & Board

Trinseo is taking an active leadership role to drive sustainability within the Paper and Board industry. Primed for carbon neutrality, 99% of the Paper and Board industry uses renewable resources and is generally more advanced than similar industries, including plastic packaging. However, closing the final gap to achieve true carbon neutrality poses a challenge as synthetic binders for coated paper and board are one of the biggest drivers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One solution Trinseo is implementing within the Paper and Board business to increase sustainability is utilizing mass balance to help our European customers on their journey to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Implementing Mass Balance

Mass balance is a standardized approach to tracking inputs and outputs when mixing sustainable and non-sustainable materials in a production process. By tracing sustainable content throughout the value chain, we provide our customers with confidence that the materials received from Trinseo are in fact sustainable. Part of the appeal of this solution is the low implementation cost. This is partially because there is no physical segregation of the sustainable product, which would likely require expensive adjustments to the manufacturing process. The other key benefit is that the integrity of the material remains intact, resulting in a quality, high-performance product. Overall, it’s an excellent alternative to purely fossil-based materials.

The Future of Paper and Board

To support Trinseo’s transformational journey, our goal is to have 40% of our product portfolio be sustainably advantaged by 2030. The mass balance approach is part of our efforts to realize that goal and support our customers in achieving their sustainability goals.Many of our Paper and Board customers are looking to become forerunners in sustainability and investing in solutions that use renewable resources to lower their carbon footprint. That’s why we are working with our Paper and Board customer base to discuss strategies for mass balance implementation and how we can best meet their sustainability needs.

Currently, six of our facilities and product families have achieved mass balance certification, including our Latex Binders plant in Rheinmunster, Germany, certified for styrene butadiene (SB) and styrene acrylic (SA) latex production and our plant in Ternuezen, The Netherlands for SB latex production. These certifications enable us to add renewable raw materials along the value chain. Based on demand, we are exploring expanding the quantity of Latex Binders plants with International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) for mass balance.

Paper and Board customers are excited about the opportunity to partner together and tailor solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. Our team is ready to implement the mass balance approach across the Paper and Board business in Europe to help our customers meet their collective goal to become carbon neutral.