We compete in an energy-intensive industry. Most of our carbon emissions come from energy consumption in our manufacturing facilities. Fortunately, a by-product of several of our manufacturing processes is biomass derived from wood fiber—an excellent, renewable source of energy.
We are increasing our use of biomass-based fuels. We are also maximizing energy efficiency inherent in combined heat-and-power systems.
Increasing our use of biomass fuels.
In 2010, 5 percent of the steam we generated to power our pulp and paper facilities at Lewiston was generated from natural gas; the remaining 95 percent came from biomass-based fuels. We generated about 45 percent of our electricity using systems that are as much as 75 percent efficient—much more efficient than steam-generated electricity from utilities.
The efficiency of combined heat and power.
Combined heat and power generation—also called cogeneration—is integral to reduction of energy use at our Lewiston and Cypress Bend plants. We generate our own electricity by utilizing high-pressure steam and then sending it to our manufacturing facilities at lower pressures, where it is used in our manufacturing process for pulp, paperboard, and tissue products.
Other energy efficiencies.
We have dramatically cut natural gas use at our Cypress Bend pulp and paperboard mill. In 2008, our consumption dropped to 50 percent of the peak levels we reached in 2000. We were able to cut our use through improvements to a gas-fired boiler and our limekiln.