WestRock Company Wins Two 2017 AF&PA Sustainability Awards

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recognized WestRock Company with two 2017 AF&PA Sustainability Awards. This is the third consecutive year AF&PA has honored WestRock for its sustainability advancements. The awards were presented at AF&PA’s annual meeting on Friday, Nov. 3 in Greensboro, Georgia.

WestRock received a Leadership in Sustainability Award for Water for its Covington Mill Power Boiler Ash Handling Systems project and the Innovation in Sustainability Award for its Moving Products the Green Way project.

“By converting and updating an existing system at its Covington, Virginia mill, WestRock reduced the facility’s water use and is now able to provide a biomass byproduct for beneficial reuse,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.

To optimize its management of fly ash – a byproduct of burning coal in boilers for energy in the paper mill’s manufacturing process – WestRock’s Covington, Virginia mill converted its boiler ash handling system from a water-managed to a dry ash system. Benefits include an 8 percent reduction in daily water usage at the mill, improved water effluent quality, and increased opportunities for reuse of the fly ash.

“Developing innovative software allowed WestRock to reduce the environmental impact of its transportation systems and save costs without sacrificing the company’s high standards for customer service,” said Harman.

In collaboration with a software vendor, WestRock enhanced and deployed a tool that facilitates reducing the number of shipments needed to provide on-time delivery of products to their customers, while saving money, avoiding fossil fuel use, and reducing greenhouse gas and other air emissions associated with their transportation footprint.

“We are honored to be recognized by AF&PA with the Innovation in Sustainability Award and Leadership in Sustainability Award for Water,” said WestRock CEO Steve Voorhees. “WestRock is focused on improving our existing systems to benefit people, planet and performance – the three pillars of our sustainability platform.”

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