"The forest products industry has been a leader on sustainability because of our focus on utilizing technology and effective management to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of our facilities," said AF&PA Chairman of the Board Colin Moseley, of Green Diamond Resource Company, in presenting the awards to MWV Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Ned Massee, and Finch Vice President of Continuous Improvement & External Operations, Roger Dziengeleski. "This award recognizes MWV and Finch Paper for their use of creativity and innovation to continue that leadership."
The Environmental & Energy Achievement Award is presented annually to AF&PA member companies that contribute significantly to advances in the practical application of new and improved environmental and energy technology.
MWV's project, implemented at its mill in Evadale, TX, proved to be a cost-effective process to control and reduce chlorides and potassium from ash while retaining sodium. The new process allowed the mill to use lower-cost alternative waste materials in the protection process and increase its self-generated electricity, which reduced the amount of ash by 75 percent.
Finch Paper's "Energy Efficiency Initiative" was implemented at their facility in Glens Falls, NY, as a mill-wide energy management system which engaged employees at all levels to transform how they thought and worked with regard to energy use. The project resulted in a 14 percent decrease in the mill's greenhouse gas emissions as well as cost-saving energy reductions without significant capital expense.
"Innovation and Sustainable practices are the foundation of our industry," said AF&PA President & CEO Donna Harman. "These initiatives by MWV and Finch show that market-driven approaches can deliver important environmental accomplishments."
Applications for the Environmental & Energy Achievement Award were reviewed by a panel of judges, which included representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Resources for the Future, and retired industry executives. Entrants were judged on their project's ability to reduce energy use and improve environmental footprints.