Reduce Water Use

GOAL: Reduce water use in members’ pulp and paper mills by 12 percent from 2005 to 2020.

Reducing water use in the manufacturing process...

...is responsible stewardship of a local resource. Just like trees, water is a valuable natural resource that our industry strives to manage in a sustainable manner.

MWV’s “Mahrt Mill Water and Energy Reduction Project” at its Cottonton, AL, mill reduced water usage by 20 percent, and reduced energy usage by over 8 per- cent, while maintaining existing production quality and capacity. 

...is achieved in part through water reuse and recycling. Ongoing technology and innovation enable water to be reused and recycled at least ten times throughout the paper mill process. After water is used in- side the mill, it is treated in a wastewater system and then returned to the environment.

The forest products industry directly returns about 88 percent of the water it withdraws and uses in its manufacturing processes.

Effluent discharge is measured and reported as a surrogate for water use.

Effluent measurements are precise and can be accurately and transparently reported. In 2010, such measurements showed that water use at member pulp and paper mills was reduced by 6 percent since 2005.

AF&PA continues to seek ways to reduce water use, increase water reuse and recycling, and spread information about the role of water in our industry.

AF&PA participates in global water sustainability initiatives to help advance understanding of mill water use impacts, including positive economic impacts, a key component of water sustainability.

For more information, read pages 14-15 of the 2012 AF&PA Sustainability Report.

= AF&PA Sustainability Award Winner