Pulp and paper-making is the main manufacturing activity for most of International Paper’s products. We employ the kraft pulping process, which cooks wood in an alkaline solution, and separates the wood fibers from the natural glues and sugars that hold the tree together. Paper is then made from the fibers that remain after the pulping process.
The separated sugars and glues aren’t wasted; instead, they are used as a biofuel that is burned to create energy. Our energy production uses additional biomass-based energy sources such as forest residuals (like bark). This efficient use of resources enables our mills to be about 72 percent fueled by renewable carbon-neutral biomass. In essence, the same trees that provide the wood fiber for our products also efficiently provide the majority of the energy to make the products themselves.
We purchase fuels and electricity for the remaining (approximately 28 percent) energy needed to power our mills. We believe we can further reduce the use of purchased fuels, particularly fossil-based fuels (coal, natural gas, oil and other fuel types) and purchased steam and electricity. Our converting operations, distribution business and non-manufacturing operations also have an impact, but it is less than 5 percent of our total energy use.
For over 10 years, we have been focused on improving our energy efficiency. With energy as a significant cost, it makes financial as well as environmental sense to reduce energy consumption. During the past four years, we have invested $290 million to reduce our annual energy purchase by over 9 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs). This energy reduction is equal to 3,000 railcars of coal or the energy to heat a Midwestern town of 80,000 people for a year. For the U.S. mills specifically, our fossil fuel intensity in 2013 was 21 percent less than the 2005 level (excluding mills acquired from Temple-Inland in 2012). For the global mill system (excluding joint-venture operations), fossil fuel intensity is 10 percent less than in 2010.
In 2013, energy efficiency in our mills improved by 3.7 percent compared with our 2010 baseline. Ten of our mills set monthly records for energy efficiency during 2013.
Mills with Monthly Energy Efficiency Records During 2013
|Bogalusa, Louisiana||Bernie Chascin|
|Courtland, Alabama||Mary Hunting|
|Franklin, Virginia||Jeff Stevens|
|Henderson, Kentucky||Kally Hodgson|
|Maysville, Kentucky||Steve Braun|
|Newport, Indiana||Derek Depuydt|
|Pensacola, Florida||Brelton DeJong|
|Pine Hill, Alabama||Janet Neighbors|
|Rome, Georgia||Devin Nix|
|Saillat, France||Phillippe D'Adhemar|
Global highlights for 2013 include:
- From 2007 to 2013, our Eastover, South Carolina, facility, currently led by Mill Manager, Hai Ninh, reduced its use of fossil fuels by 26 percent. The mill used investments of $21 million and our resourceful employees to drive these results, which are equivalent to eliminating 50,000 tons of coal per year.
- Our Svetogorsk Mill in Russia, led by Mill Manager Luis Claudio Pereira, ramped up operation of a new 25-megawatt combined heat and power system (CHP), designed to generate over 180 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and process steam at annual efficiencies significantly higher than standalone power generation. That is equivalent to electricity used by 16,000 average homes in the United States. The CHP system also provides steam to the mill that is needed for our manufacturing processes.
- Our Maysville, Kentucky, Mill, led by Mill Manager Steve Braun, has invested in paper machine heat recovery, a project started at year end, which should save the equivalent of 12,000 tons per year of coal, or 100 railcars annually. The project takes hot exhaust gas from the paper drying process and uses it for heating water, thus decreasing the need for steam that had been provided by fossil fuel.
Although our energy goal is specific to our mill system, where more than 90 percent of our fossil fuel is consumed, we are also continuously improving the energy performance of our container and converting facilities.
While we have achieved some success toward our 2020 energy goal, we continue to look aggressively for opportunities to re-engineer processes, upgrade equipment and manage our facilities in ways that improve efficiency and operating costs. We use energy process audits to systematically identify opportunities as well as measure and verify our results.
Ten of our mills set monthly records for energy efficiency during 2013.