By Nina Butler
Chief Sustainability Officer, WestRock
Sustainability is integral to WestRock’s long-term business strategy. Our 42,000 co-workers are working hard every day to create lasting value for our stakeholders, while operating our business safely, using natural resources responsibly, and investing in our communities.
One example of the ways we are improving the sustainability of our business practices is the Covington Power Island Project. This project involved the construction of a new biomass power island that uses carbon-neutral biomass to supply renewable clean energy to our mill and generate renewable electricity for sale.
The project has led to many benefits for the environment and the Covington mill. We have displaced fossil fuels, resulting in a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We also have been able to decrease other types of air emissions as well as the amount of water the mill uses. In addition to these environmental improvements, the facility has become electrically self-sufficient and reduced its energy costs.
The Covington Power Island Project has been successful in optimizing the mill’s steam and power generation capabilities, and we hope the project can serve as a model for others in the industry to realize many of these same sustainability benefits.
WestRock received a 2015 AF&PA Leadership in Sustainability Award for Energy Efficiency and GHG Reduction for their Covington Power Island Project.