We use existing raw materials sustainably


Material efficiency is a key factor in making advanced biofuels, with solutions based on the use of waste and residues, enabling increasingly sustainable fuel production without compromising global food production or biodiversity. Renewable wood-based biofuels can substantially reduce transport emissions while maintaining sustainable production methods.

We benefit from the lifecycle of wood-based biomass with optimal efficiency. As a raw material, wood provides a very good starting point, as evidenced by the renewable BioVerno fuel made from a residue of pulp production at UPM. We are also developing new raw material concepts based on sustainable land use with low risk of causing indirect land use change.



Renewable biofuel comes from wood

Renewable biofuel comes from wood

Wood is UPM's most important raw material. It is a renewable raw material that we transform into a variety of recyclable products, which also retain carbon throughout their lifecycle. Products such as pulp, paper, labels, timber, plywood, biocomposites, biochemicals and biofuels. From wood to products with respect for nature.

The production process for UPM's biofuels stresses material efficiency and renewability. A natural wood extract of mainly softwood origin, crude tall oil is collected as a residue in pulp production. No separate logging operations are needed for making UPM BioVerno advanced biofuels. Crude tall oil is a wholly renewable raw material, and so its use yields substantial environmental benefits compared to the use of fossil fuels.


Crude tall oil is a residue of the pulp making process

Crude tall oil is a residue of the pulp making process

Sustainable forestry is the foundation of our operations

The crude tall oil we use in our production is a residue of the pulp making process. Wood for all pulp processing is legally logged and the origin of wood is always known. The tracing system and Chain of Custody model of our raw material providers cover the requirements for both the PEFC™ and FSC® forest schemes.


Sustainable forestry is the foundation of our operations

Ecofys – Indirect land use research

Ecofys is an international energy and sustainability consultancy and part of the global energy segment at Navigant – a specialized professional services company. Ecofys prepared a report on the status and sustainability of crude tall oil (CTO) used as feedstock for renewable diesel production. The report showed that CTO fits the definition of process residue based on biofuel legislation. At the same time they concluded that the feedstock use for biofuels did not create additional demand for land or distort CTO markets, therefore the material has a low ILUC risk.


Mass balance and how it works

Mass balance

Mass balance allows gradual transition from fossils to renewables. The mass balance system ensures that the claimed amount of renewable feedstock has been used in production. Mass balance brings the benefits of sustainable renewable feedstock to end users. Each tonne of renewable diesel and naphtha replaces one tonne of fossil diesel and naphtha, saving fossil resources and emissions.


Carbon Farming Concept – new sustainable feedstocks for biofuels


UPM Biofuels has developed a new biofuel feedstock concept by growing Brassica oil crops during secondary growth seasons in South America. This way of using land improves soil quality and carbon intake as well as provides oil and protein feedstocks.

UPM promotes cultivation of Brassica oil crops with third party farmers in Uruguay.


The sequential cropping enables local farmers to take existing agricultural land into use outside the main cultivation period. This provides additional income for farmers in winter without compromising existing food production. Cultivation also prevents erosion, increases soil carbon accumulation, and improves soil quality.

Brassica oils from UPM Biofuels' feedstock production in Uruguay have a low risk of causing indirect land use change emissions when used for biofuels production.


South American crop season

Raw material studies

Our raw material research is based on efficient use of various forest industry residues. We are seeking new possibilities for using and generating biomass. Besides tall oil, we also test other waste and residue-based raw material alternatives that do not compete with food production.

Our innovation culture has won global recognition as our expertise in biomass treatment, processes and bioenergy has taken us to the cutting edge of wood-based product innovation based on the progressive and sustainable solutions favoured by UPM's Biofore strategy.

UPM devotes some 5-10% of its annual cashflow to research and development, seeking to make more from less in all our operations.