waste

WASTE MANAGEMENT

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In 2013, we worked to develop the target for this goal. We also approved a global “Waste Management Performance Standard” that defines acceptable global waste-handling practices. We already beneficially reuse about half of our manufacturing residual waste. The new standard uses Manufacturing Excellence principles to maximize efficiency and minimize waste, and is aligned with our newly adopted solid waste sustainability goal.

A 30 percent reduction by 2020 is seen as a “stretch” goal because the resources needed to achieve the goal are limited, and because sometimes, in many instances, the cost of beneficial use exceeds that of economical onsite landfill disposal.

Leadership is a key element in achieving our zero waste management goal. Near-zero manufacturing waste to landfills has been approached by some of our major converting sites, which stress efficiency and recycling wherever possible to minimize waste. As new technologies for separating waste components becomes more cost-effective, zero manufacturing waste to landfills is expected to become feasible at pulp and paper mills as well.

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While our road map to achieving our waste management goal is still being developed, we expect it will include the following initiatives:

  • Driving best practices through our manufacturing network;
  • Developing site-specific waste reduction plans by 2015;
  • Incorporating e-waste reduction progress into employees’ work performance criteria and objectives;
  • Incorporating waste minimization criteria into our capital project review process; and
  • Recognizing plants and employees for most improved and best-in-class performance.
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Solid waste performance in 2013 versus the 2010 baseline year reflects improvement in the efficiency of our operations, both in terms of waste generated (seven percent less waste generated) and waste beneficially used (57 percent reused versus the baseline of 53 percent). The metric for our revised goal, which we plan to track moving forward, is “percent reduction in manufacturing waste to landfill per ton of pulp and paper production.” Production in this context refers to product suitable for sale.

Our 2010 “metric tons of manufacturing waste landfilled per 1,000 metric tons of production” baseline was 64 and our 2013 value is 54, a 15 percent decline and progress toward our new goal of 30 percent reduction by 2020. We believe land application of pulp and paper manufacturing residual waste materials will play a key role in the pursuit of our 2020 landfill waste-reduction goal.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.