We have continued to make improvements in reducing solid waste to landfill.
In 2013 our Somerset mill had a breakthrough in optimizing the lime kiln (see p.30) which resulted in less lime mud waste. In addition, reduced solid fuel rates led to less boiler ash being landfilled. Our mill in Cloquet, Minnesota, has developed a beneficial use program with the local agricultural extension program and provides boiler ash and lime mud as a soil amendment to local farmers. These materials help farmers raise the pH of soil, creating better growing conditions for certain crops.
All pulp and paper mills in North America use and treat water in accordance with comprehensive environmental permits.
Our North American mills use only surface water sources (rivers and lakes) and return treated water to the same primary source. (At Cloquet we return the water to a publicly owned treatment facility which then returns to Lake Superior.) Our water return is over 90 percent of intake, creating a minimal water footprint. Water that is “consumed” in our operations is primarily that which is lost through evaporation to the atmosphere. While our water usage was up slightly in 2013, our water quality indicators (BOD and TSS) remained flat or improved as reflected below.
SFPNA has had a major focus on the reduction of fossil fuels and the emissions associated with combustion.
We exceeded an aggressive five-year goal of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity in just three years. We had the recovery boiler out of service this year at Cloquet due to planned outages for capital improvements. As a result, our greenhouse gas emissions were slightly higher than 2012, but we are still exceeding our goal and well ahead of industry average. We remain well below industry average for SO2 emissions and have continued to make further reductions.
One hundred percent of our fiber is procured in accordance with the SFI® Fiber Sourcing standard as well as the FSC® Controlled Wood standard.
These third-party certification programs provide assurance that wood-based products have been procured from well-managed forests and are legally harvested. In 2013 we converted our pulp mill at the Cloquet facility to manufacture dissolving pulp; as such, we are purchasing more kraft fiber than in prior years to support the papermaking operations at that mill. All of our purchased pulp was certified by one or more standards, which is reflected in higher FSC® fiber numbers as well as higher “triple certified” fiber.
Environmental Defense Fund has spent more than 20 years working with businesses to mitigate climate change, so we were pleased to learn that a GreenBiz survey of sustainability executives at large corporations ranked us as one of three “Trusted Leaders” among environmental nonprofits.
July 9, 2013 /3BL Media/ - The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology has announced the date and session outlines for its third annual Focal Point conference at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Focal Point 2013: Frontiers in Packaging will target opportunities and challenges for the packaging and converting industries in the Midwest. The event will address manufacturing, converting, end-use, and regulatory concerns in flexible and rigid plastics, paper board and specialty paper.