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Kimberly-Clark experimental mill moves to next level of environmental program with Green Tier Contract with Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources

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Kimberly-Clark experimental mill moves to next level of environmental program with Green Tier Contract with Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources

January 19, 2012 - 04:56
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NEENAH, WI, Jan. 19, 2012 (Press Release) -
Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials signed a Green Tier Contract at a gathering at the Neenah facility Wednesday.

Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill develops innovative products for the Family Care business sector. This includes items like, facial tissue, bath tissue, paper towels and more. The facility employs about 50 people.

"Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill plays an important role in the economy of our state," commented DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "It has been a valuable participant in Tier 1 of Green Tier and I am pleased that it is expanding its commitment to superior environmental performance by participating in Green Tier's Tier 2 level."

Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill moved from Tier 1 of the Green Tier program to Tier 2. It participated at the Tier 1 level for over five years and made significant environmental strides including:

Replaced over 500 metal halide light fixtures with high-efficiency fluorescent fixtures for a savings of 180,916 kilowatt hours since 2006.

Identified and repaired leaks in the compressed air equipment. The repaired equipment runs more efficiently and uses less energy. Also programmed part of the air compressor system to shut down when it detects low demand.

Reduced amount of water used for equipment washing by approximately 50 percent. Achieved this by turning down water pressure in hoses used for cleaning equipment from 160 pounds per square inch (psi) to 60 psi.

Made progress on ground water remediation by making a model that uses site data to identify sources of contamination. The model pointed out opportunities for cleaning contaminated soils and upgrading the existing ground water extraction remediation system. Ongoing data collection continues to provide new ideas for improving ground water.

Helped the community's redevelopment efforts by selling a large section of parking lot to the City of Neenah to turn into permanent green space. Also negotiated with the local utility provider to move power line supports out of the adjacent lake, Little Lake Butte des Morts.

"The acceptance into Green Tier's Tier 2 program is great recognition of the journey and progress that the Experimental Mill has traveled over the past years," said Susan Tarr, Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill's Director R & E. "Green Tier's Tier 2 positions the facility to continue to be flexible and responsive to future needs."

As a Green Tier participant, Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill utilizes an environmental management system (EMS) that is equivalent to the international standard for EMSs. An EMS is a plan-do-check-act tool that helps a company understand and control its environmental impacts.

As a Tier 2 participant Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill will continue to review progress regularly and identify new opportunities through its EMS. It also plans to recycle and reduce more non-hazardous wastes, conserve more energy and reduce its use of city water. Keeping employees brushed-up on environmental expectations through trainings and refresher courses on storm water management, spill prevention, and recycling efforts is an integral part of its success.

Green Tier was signed into law in 2004 to encourage a collaborative approach to environmental performance between the DNR and Wisconsin businesses, local governments and other organizations. In exchange for a commitment to superior environmental performance, the department can grant benefits to participants including a single point of contact with the department for easier communications, the use of the Green Tier logo in marketing, and annual public recognition of participation. As part of a Tier 2 contract, Tier 2 participants may also negotiate regulatory flexibility proportional to their environmental commitments. The Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill chose not to ask for any regulatory flexibility from DNR at this time.