Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Manufacturing


From Manufacturing

Our impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions starts in the forest, well before our manufacturing process. As trees and forests grow, they remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and convert it into organic carbon, stored in woody biomass. Trees release the stored carbon when they die or decay, or are combusted for energy. As the biomass releases carbon as CO2, the carbon cycle is completed. When woody biomass derived from sustainably managed forests is used for energy, the emissions have no net effect on the atmosphere and are thus called carbon-neutral. International Paper emitted approximately 34 million metric tons of carbon-neutral biomass CO2 in 2013, and our use of biomass energy avoids emissions from more carbon-intensive sources like fossil fuels.

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In addition to the use of biomass, we also have the ability, through the onsite creation of electricity and steam, to produce a sizable portion of the electricity we need. Additional fuels are purchased to meet our energy needs. Our 41 mills consume more than 95 percent of International Paper’s total energy and generate 90 percent of our fossil fuel GHG.

Our GHG emissions are classified as either Scope I or Scope II. Emissions from burning fossil fuels are considered to be Scope I while emissions from generating purchased electricity at off-site utilities are considered Scope II. Our Scope I emissions also include relatively modest and stable emissions from International Paper–owned and –operated landfills at our paper mills.

Our goal for a 20 percent GHG emission reduction by 2020 was set as a combination of both Scope I and Scope II emissions. On-site generation of GHGs has been trending downward, and continued in that direction in 2013, falling an additional 7 percent. Scope II emissions were up 4 percent from our 2010 baseline and 8 percent year-over-year. Total reduction of Scope I and II from the baseline was about 5.8 percent in 2013.

Several mills contributed to this progress by improving their energy efficiency, and their stories are shared in more detail in the energy efficiency section. We are also realizing benefits by replacing fuel oil and coal with natural gas. Both coal and natural gas are fossil fuels, but natural gas generates half the CO2 of coal on a same-energy-content basis.

In Brazil, International Paper invested $90 million in a new biomass boiler at our Mogi Guacu Mill, led by Mill Manager, Luis Cesar Assin. Burning biomass reduced the need for on-site combustion of fossil fuel, and nearly 200,000 tons of fossil fuel based GHGs were converted to carbon-neutral biomass in 2013 from this project.

Where applicable, International Paper sells Renewable Energy Credits at a number of our global integrated mills.


From Products

Once our paper and paper-based packaging is manufactured, it is a relatively stable medium that does not emit greenhouse gases while in use. With the exception of wood pulp sold into the absorbent hygiene markets, most of the products we manufacture are readily and frequently recycled. International Paper operates an extensive recycling collection and reuse system. (See the section on Recycling & End-of-Life).


From Converting

Once the paper or pulp has been manufactured, it is sold to our customers or converted by International Paper into a variety of products. Rolls of white paper, for example, are sold to large printing firms, or cut to size at our locations or at the converting operations of our customers. Linerboard can be converted in International Paper container plants to make shipping containers or the linerboard can be sold to other converters. Across our company, International Paper has more than 200 converting locations.

Emissions from transporting to converters are considered Scope III emissions. If the site is owned and operated by International Paper, the energy used to convert the paper into a product is considered part of International Paper’s Scope I and Scope II emissions. Individually, our 200 plus converting operations contribute on average about 5,000 tons of emissions, but collectively they emit approximately 1.5 million tons. Over time, their emissions also have trended slightly downward by approximately 3 percent.


Other Air Emissions- Criteria Pollutants

For the past four years fuel-switching, particularly away from coal and oil, resulted in significant reductions of our other air emissions; this included a 25 percent reduction in SO2 and a 10 percent reduction in NOx for an overall reduction of 14 percent for the criteria pollutants addressed in the air emissions goal. We believe our gains will continue as more fuel-switching, energy efficiency projects and regulatory changes are expected in the next five years.

FEATURED STORY

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Ticonderoga Mill Sees Wastewater Improvement

Our Ticonderoga Mill, managed by Chris Mallon, has partnered with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Ticonderoga team completed water mapping and research analysis to reduce the generation and disposal of manufacturing waste. This innovative approach of scientists, engineers and academics working with REACH engineers to implement identified opportunities is just one example that has helped the Ticonderoga Mill achieve a 25-percent decline in BOD over its 2010 baseline.

FEATURED STORY

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Forty Employees Achieve Manufacturing Excellence Training Certification

Our strategy of Manufacturing Excellence (ME), based on Lean Six Sigma principles, enables us to identify, prioritize, implement and sustain deliberate improvements to our operations and business processes. In 2010, we began an intensive training program to develop ME practitioners from white belts (basic understanding) to green belts (mastery of tools and concepts) to black belts (leaders in executing the ME strategy). These trained and certified ME professionals drive the success of our projects and support the organization as it embraces the ME approach.

FEATURED STORY

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Pine Hill Mill Enriches Fields with Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

Our Pine Hill, Alabama, Mill, led by Mill Manager Janet Neighbors, mixes residual materials into a soil amendment. This beneficial use returns minerals, organic matter and liming and fertilizing agents to enrich the soils. This successful reuse of waste included collaboration with the Alabama Departments of Environmental Management and Agriculture and the Auburn University Plant and Soil Laboratory.

FEATURED STORY

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International Paper Brazil Facilities Lead the Way on Solid Waste

In Brazil, where our fiber is supplied by eucalyptus plantations grown near our mill, land application of composted pulp and paper mill residual waste materials returns organic matter and nutrients to the very land that produces the mill’s primary raw material. Mills at Mogi Guaçu and Luiz Antonio, Brazil, led by Mill Managers Luis Cesar Assin and Dorival Almeida, respectively, have engaged in this best practice since early in their production history, working closely with the responsible regulatory group. In 2013, both mills achieved near zero manufacturing waste to landfills. While this achievement might be more complex for many of our mills, it sets a high bar for future waste-reduction endeavors.

FEATURED STORY

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Innovating to Protect Life

As part of our overarching safety program known as LIFE (Life-changing Injury and Fatality Elimination), employees are continually looking for ways to improve our operations to make them safer for employees, contractors and visitors. For example, to reduce the risk of falls for truck drivers hauling chips and fiber fuels to U.S. mills, our fiber supply team created tarping stations that eliminate the need for drivers to climb on top of the trucks to uncover loads. As a result, drivers are less prone to falls, a hazard prevalent in the industry for years. Our innovative solution has been recognized by national associations, which are now advocating that other companies implement this best practice.

FEATURED STORY

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Vicksburg Achieves Excellent Safety Record

Power plant employees at our Vicksburg, Mississippi, facility, led by Mill Manager Tom J Olstad, celebrated three years without a recordable safety incident in April 2013. The team has demonstrated its commitment to safety by focusing on safety observations and reporting on them daily in morning meetings. They also report safety observations during pre-shift safety meetings to increase awareness of potential hazards. The zero-incident rate reflects the high level of engagement and commitment by the Vicksburg team.