Falling Emissions, Rising Opportunity

The boiler at the heart of Georgia‐Pacific’s Broadway mill in Green Bay, Wisconsin, arrived by barge on the banks of the Fox River more than four years ago. Designed to replace the company’s largest coal‐fired unit, the new natural‐gas boiler has dramatically reduced emissions from the manufacturing process, and the surrounding community and environment are seeing the benefits.

“Ten years ago, we were operating a number of coal‐fired boilers at several facilities,” said Traylor Champion, senior vice president of environmental affairs and product safety. “To continuously improve our facilities and the communities where we operate, we decided to convert or replace several of our coal‐fired boilers to natural gas. That has significantly reduced sulfur dioxide emissions.”

Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, is a natural byproduct of burning coal, which was needed to produce energy in making everyday household products such as Angel Soft® tissue, Quilted Northern® tissue, and Sparkle® paper towels. Cross‐discipline teams from operations, engineering, environmental, safety, and procurement working together at GP facilities across the country have driven a collective 59 percent reduction in SO2 emissions (nearly 30,000 tons) over the last 5 years, with goals for more reductions.

The Broadway mill is one of GP’s largest facilities and the largest of five facilities in Green Bay, with more than 1,000 employees. Between 2013 and 2017, a team at the Broadway mill set out to reduce its overall SO2 emissions. The results were dramatic. The Broadway mill reduced its SO2 footprint by 94 percent compared to a decade ago. These environmental improvements—driven by the employees’ collaboration, compliance with evolving regulations, knowledge sharing and problem solving—have benefited the facility and close‐knit community.

“Clearly, Georgia‐Pacific recognizes that it has a huge responsibility when it comes to managing its resources and making a positive impact,” said Mayor Jim Schmitt, City of Green Bay. “For a century, the Broadway mill and GP’s other facilities have been an economic driver for our community, and they’ve also been a good neighbor.”
more at: https://www.gp.com/news/2019/02/georgia-pacifics-broadway-mill-falling-emissions-rising-opportunity

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