The event was held Wednesday, July 21, 2010, at the SEC, 1451 McMahon Drive, in the town of Menasha. Roberta Gassman, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and a member of Governor James Doyle's cabinet, delivered the keynote address.
Gassman praised SCA Tissue for its leadership in sustainability. She pointed out that the wind turbines were the first produced by an Oshkosh, Wis., startup company called Renewegy LLC. The project brought together several local businesses, and has helped create and sustain the kind of green jobs that the state and national economy need, she said.
"Our new wind turbines stand as a symbol of SCA's commitment to sustainability and our environmentally friendly products," Don Lewis, President of SCA Tissue North America, told the assembled dignitaries and attendees.
"At SCA we're all working together to reduce our environmental footprint across the globe," said Lewis. "The company has set a target to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions globally by 20 percent from fossil fuels and purchased electricity and heat by 2020. SCA has also set a global goal to reduce our water consumption by 15 percent by the end of this year compared to 2005 levels."
Lewis pointed out that SCA Tissue North America recycles more than 750,000 tons of wastepaper each year in making its Tork® products from 100-percent recycled fiber.
"To put that into perspective, it's enough to cover Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, 233 times, including the end zones, three feet high in wastepaper," said Lewis. "And the majority of our products are third-party certified by Green Seal® and Eco Logo CM, two independent organizations who audit our mills, processes and products to ensure they meet the toughest sustainability standards."
Steven E. Brady, USW Chairman, SCA Council, shared comments on behalf of the union, which represents hundreds of SCA workers throughout North America who play a critical role in manufacturing the company's Tork® products. "SCA stands for sustainability and what it means to be an environmentally-friendly company. For the United Steelworkers, sustainability has another important meaning. Our collaborative working relationship with SCA supports the jobs that sustain middle class working families and their growth and livelihood," said Brady.
The dedication ceremony also included the reading of a proclamation by Town of Menasha Chairman Arden Tews. The proclamation bestows SCA with the honorary title of "Sustainable Business Leader." It also declares July 21, 2010, as "Let's Zero In On Energy Independence Day," which describes the event theme and SCA's aspiration - to reduce its reliance on energy through the use of alternative energy resources, like its new wind turbines. The theme also describes SCA's goal to inspire others to join in the pursuit of energy independence and working toward a "net zero" society.
To help educate local community members on ways they too can reduce energy consumption, the event included a sustainability fair with dozens of exhibits by local businesses, and educational and non-profit organizations promoting environmental stewardship and conservation.
The wind turbines are the latest in a series of ongoing environmental, conservation and alternative energy initiatives at the SEC. In 2008, for example, SCA Tissue installed 115 solar panels on the roof of the SEC. Together, the wind turbines and solar panels will deliver an estimated 2 to 2 ½ months of the facility's annual electrical power needs.