Water is a primary input into our manufacturing process. In fact, we could not make our product without it. Approximately 93 percent of the water in our process goes back to the aquatic environment after treatment. Much of the remaining 7 percent is returned to the environment via evaporation.
Across the company, in 2013 we saw water usage remain about the same as the previous year’s usage.
In 2013, International Paper analyzed our water risk by mapping it facility by facility. This analysis included four factors: the World Resources Institute (WRI) risk mapping tool, perceived community and regional risk, manufacturing risk and customer sensitivity. This analysis resulted in a composite score for each mill. We are using this ranked list to focus on our highest-risk mills, identifying projects to reduce water risk. This analysis and ranking puts us on track with our goal to develop site-specific plans by 2015. We will continue to further identify water conservation opportunities and risks.
Water Quality and Monitoring
In 2013, we recorded an increase of approximately 13 percent in Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) from 2012 levels, due to year-to-year variability, acute system upsets and weather-related events. BOD is used as a gauge of the effectiveness of wastewater treatment plants. We are now 13 percent under our baseline level from 2010, but our mill teams remain focused on reducing process losses to our wastewater treatment systems, thereby reducing oxygen-depleting substances and generating cost savings. Wastewater best practices continue to be shared across our manufacturing sites.
Several mills marked improvement in reducing their BOD levels in 2013. The following mills posted reductions of greater than 15 percent year over year.
Mills with BOD Reductions of Greater Than 15 Percent Year Over Year
|Ticonderoga, New York||Chris Malion|
|Springfield, Oregon||Dave Castro|
|Pine Hill, Alabama||Janet Neighbors|
|Newport, Indiana||Derek Depuydt|
In addition to managing water use and output associated with our manufacturing facilities, we work with groups like São Paulo University to evaluate the impact of our forest management on water resources in Brazil, where we possess a unique stake in plantations and land we own.