UPM Biochemicals and URSA develop new sustainable insulation to achieve step change in the environmental performance of the construction materials industry

Press Release 23.5.2023 10:00 EEST

UPM Biochemicals and URSA, one of the leading producers of glass wool and mineral wool in Europe, today announced the development of more environmentally friendly building insulation that will help to reduce energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions.

URSA will produce sustainable glass wool made from an innovative, binder based on UPM BioPiva™ lignin. It will be one of the most natural insulation material available on the market.

Synthetic resins from fossil-based raw materials have traditionally been used as binders in the production of glass wool and mineral wool respectively. The new binder implemented by Ursa is based on the proprietary lignin-resin technology developed by UPM Biochemicals. URSA and UPM Biochemicals have closely collaborated in optimizing binder composition for best physical characteristics of the new insulation material and smooth runnability on URSA’s production lines.

Lignin is a natural polymer found in wood and other plants. UPM BioPiva™ lignin is a sustainably produced, cost-effective and versatile raw material that has proven valuable in the creation of many value-added industrial applications, especially in lignin-based phenolic resins (LPF).

“We are thrilled about having reached this milestone together with our partners from URSA, as it marks a potentially disruptive innovation for the insulation materials industry in general, and a great achievement for URSA with its long-held vision to go green and to reduce the carbon footprint of its products,” explained Christian Hübsch, Director Sales & Marketing at UPM Biochemicals.

UPM Biochemicals is committed to the sustainable transformation of multiple industries and is actively engaging with partners such as URSA to develop new, sustainable applications and products based on wood-based biochemicals.

“We undertook long-term studies with UPM Biochemicals to assess the viability of replacing synthetic resins with a new bio-based binder and we are excited to produce one of the most sustainable glass wool insulation materials available,” added Wolfgang Marka, Managing Director of URSA-Adria.

“URSA is dedicated to the manufacture and commercialization of thermal and acoustic insulation materials oriented towards sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings. Our latest premium products using a lignin binder represent the beginning of new technology for the development of sustainable insulation material in the construction industry.” 


UPM Biochemicals and URSA develop new sustainable insulation for the construction materials industry. (Picture: URSA)

For further information please contact:

Martin Ledwon, Vice President Stakeholder Relations UPM Biochemicals, martin.ledwon@upm.com

UPM, Media Relations
Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00 EEST
tel. +358 40 588 3284

UPM Biochemicals
UPM Biochemicals offers innovative, sustainable and competitive wood-based biochemicals for replacing fossil-based raw materials and helping to improve the environmental performance in various applications. End-use segments for renewable glycols include textiles, PET bottles, packaging, coolants, composites, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and detergents. Lignin-based Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) offer a sustainable alternative to carbon black and precipitated silica in a broad range of rubber and plastic applications. UPM is building an industrial scale biorefinery in Leuna, Germany to convert solid wood into next generation biochemicals. UPM Biochemicals is accelerating the transition to a circular bioeconomy – where renewable feedstocks, sustainable production and sustainable consumption are the new normal. www.upmbiochemicals.com

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We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Fibres, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility, we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 17,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 11,7 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils. www.upm.com

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URSA is a company dedicated to the manufacture and commercialization of thermal and acoustic insulation materials oriented towards sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings. Since 2022, URSA is part of Etex Group, a global building material manufacturer and pioneer in lightweight construction. URSA enjoys a wide commercial presence both in Spain and in Europe thanks to its 13 production plants, strategically placed over the European continent. Today, URSA is one of the leading mineral wool and extruded polystyrene (XPS) manufacturers in Europe, two complementary insulation materials which contribute to insulating buildings thermally and acoustically. URSA products help reduce buildings’ energy demand, mainly in heating and cooling, allowing users to reduce their energy consumption and, regarding sustainability. These products not only contribute to final user comfort, but also lend a hand to the environment, reducing CO2 emissions, and to countries’ economies, diminishing fossil fuel dependency.