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Flexo Sustainable : Year-End 2012
According to the report, in 2011, “slightly less than half of the board [PaperWorks] purchased for carton produc- tion at [its] packaging plants came from recycled sources.” This helps explain the current trend of increased customer demand for certified paperboard. Paperworks’ reports that its mils witnessed a 400 percent increase in requests for FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified paperboard from 2010 to 2011. Because the firm’s packaging plants were not all certified until 2011, growth comparisons were not available, according to the report. CARBON FOOTPRINT PaperWorks contends that carbon emission reduction is as good for the environment as it is at influencing operational efficiency. Currently, PaperWorks tracks Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Scope 1 emissions include all “direct” emissions, which includes fuel that is consumed onsite, such as compa- ny vehicles and fuel combustion. Scope 2 emissions consist of “indirect” emissions, such as the electricity consumed by a company ’s facilities. The company reports greenhouse gas emissions in absolute and relative terms. From 2010 to 2011, PaperWorks has decreased its abso- lute greenhouse emissions by 2.5 percent from 248,108 tons of CO2e to 241,954. PaperWorks has a goal of a 10 percent reduction in CO2 by 2016, which equates to a 2 percent reduc- tion in intensity over five years. In 2011, PaperWorks’ carbon intensity had increased by 0.9 percent – in relative terms –because of an increase in revenue. MeAsuRINg eNvIRONMeNTAl IMPACT According to climate change scientists, in order to reduce the risk of devastating climate change, developed countries must decrease absolute emissions (information regarding an organization’s overall emissions, regardless of any changes in the operating practices of a company [e.g. total energy consumed]) by an average of 2 percent per year for the next 40 years. This is a daunting task to say the least, but based on these forecasts, PaperWorks’ reduction of 2.5 percent in CO2e emissions is right on track. Part of PaperWorks’ efforts taken in reducing its carbon footprint has been to conduct “energy audits” at its facilities. The audits help identify solutions to reduce energy consumption, but also offer a look at “company-wide energy-saving alterna- tives.” At its Mt. Gilead, NC packaging facility and its Wabash, IN mill, energy- saving opportunities were discovered that were eligi- ble for state grants. Thanks to grants from the North Carolina and Indiana gov- ernments totaling $723,158, PaperWorks made the following upgrades: Mt. Gilead facility: • Expected carbon emission reduction of 25 percent • Lighting system upgrades and energy-efficient, variable speed alternatives for aging compressor pumps • Separate from the grants, PaperWorks replaced an anti- quated printing press with an energy-efficient machine. Wabash Mill: • Upgrade of pulp and water cleaning facilities that is ex- pected to reduce annual carbon emissions by 2 percent. WANT NOT, WAsTe NOT Considering that the average North American family of four produces seven tons of waste per year, PaperWorks’ Mendon, MI facility is a site to behold. In 2011, the facility produced only nine tons of waste. Through energies of the community, suppliers and consumers, the facility has become zero waste. By returning friction mats to suppliers; providing credits to customers who return wooden pallets; and providing the com- munity firewood from pallet production, the facility has asked “ not what goes into the waste compactor, but what does not belong there.” In 2010, PaperWorks made an effort to determine its han- dling of waste. It undertook audits at five of its nine converting locations and realized there were a number of recyclable materials that weren’t being collected. By 2011, the convert- ing plants were sending 99 percent of their waste to recycling plants. Another waste-saving focus for the company has been water. Because paper mills require a lot of water, the firm has set a five-year goal to reduce water intensity by 5 percent. After the first year, the company has reduced absolute water consumption by 25 percent and water intensity by 16 percent. One prime example is the Wabash Mill. Over the last five years, improvements have been made to close the water loop. In other words, the Wabash Mill recycles water used within the system, limiting the total amount needed. The results have been remarkable. From 2010 to 2011, water demand has been lowered by 17 percent. susTAINABle FuTuRe According to PaperWorks, sustainable packaging is “a driv- ing innovation in the printing industry. ” “T he objective of our first sustainability report is to show- case our evolution in terms of driving efficiency across the company,” according to Mark Staton, president and CEO. “ When effectively implemented, sustainability drives innova- tion and operational efficiency. Going forward, sustainability will remain a core value within our organization.” Through the regular identification of sustainable prac- tices—and shortcomings—Paperworks has proven that green printing can be a profitable enterprise. By implementing rigor- ous environmental and social practices, the company is able to leverage its strengths to benefit customers, employees and shareholders. At the same time, it strives to enhance quality of life in the community. As PaperWorks’ first sustainability report has illustrated, environmental compliance and sustainable performance has proven to be a valuable practice. n PaperWorks Profiled, Feb 2012 www.flexomag.com year end 2012 Sustainable FLEXO 7
Earth Day 2013