Kemira and Stora Enso have today announced the launch of a joint project to promote responsible water management and community engagement in Guangxi Province in Southern China. Water is a crucial resource for sustainable plantation forestry in Guangxi, where Stora Enso leases 90 000 hectares of land and manages eucalyptus tree plantations. The new project aims to find new solutions for responsible water management through stakeholder surveys, community work and water-related capacity building.
The project brings together Kemira's world class know-how on water quality and quantity management, Stora Enso's expertise on tree plantation management, and local communities' practical knowledge and experiences related to water issues in Guangxi. The project will enhance local competence in water management and increase awareness of water issues among industries and communities in the Beihai region of Guangxi Province.
The project will create shared value by improving Stora Enso's tree plantations operations, and by strengthening Kemira's role as the water management solutions provider for the paper industry and for local communities, as well as bringing new know-how and better water management tools to local communities.
During the project, Kemira and Stora Enso will carry out a detailed study of water resources in the area around Stora Enso's operations in Guangxi. Challenges will be mapped out, and local concerns such as the impacts of tree plantations on water quality and groundwater levels will be duly addressed.
Based on the results of the study, Kemira and Stora Enso will work together with local villagers to provide training on water issues and to examine possible employment opportunities related to water management. Pilot water management projects will be designed together with village representatives, and a water saving program will be launched for the Beihai area together with local partners and stakeholders. The project will start in December 2013 and last until the end of 2015. The details of project implementation and scheduling will be finalised together with the local communities.
"This is a unique project for Guangxi and also globally, and we are extremely proud to be involved," says Stora Enso's CEO Jouko Karvinen. "We will be bringing together the competences of two leading companies and the knowledge of the local community to create the best possible water solutions. As a signatory of the United Nations' Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, water is a top priority for us wherever we operate. But this project is not just about the environment. Our investments in Guangxi aim to produce renewable packaging products for Chinese consumers but we also want to create value for all our stakeholders in Guangxi. Our ultimate aim is to help create a world class forest technology cluster in the area. This project represents a significant step along that road."
"For Kemira, this will be a major project in the field of corporate responsibility for the coming years. We are dedicated to creating value through our expertise in chemistry and water efficiency both for Stora Enso, one of our key customers, and for the local communities in Guangxi. We will collaborate to develop new solutions for managing water resources more efficiently and initiate activities to increase the awareness of water issues in the Beihai region. China is today the biggest paper and board producing country in the world. To grow sustainably, it is important to develop paper and board production which is strategically backward integrated into the pulp and plantation industries. We are committed to develop new solutions for these processes and to grow together with our customers in this important market," says Kemira's CEO Wolfgang Büchele.