Process changes and employees' actions reduce energy costs and offer ideas for other companies.
Energy makes up roughly 20 percent of the U.S. pulp and paper industry's total cost of materials, and more than half of electricity consumption comes from pulping and turning bleached pulp into finished product. But companies across the country are making headway.
At Kimberly Clark's Everett, Wash., facility, a combined heat and power (CHP) process generates more than 220 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually. CHPs at another mill significantly reduced local electric demand and actually feed energy back to the grid. A heat recovery system in a Kentucky mill eliminated natural gas usage to heat the facility.
The Lawrence/Berkeley National Lab found these process changes particularly effective in reducing energy use:
Everyday actions by employees also add up. They can help save energy by:
To dig into all the possibilities, check out "Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the Pulp and Paper Industry" at energystar.gov.
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