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BOSTON – As part of its commitment to operating sustainably, Sappi Fine Paper North America today announced that its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine, has been certified by Center for Resource Solutions' Green-e® Marketplace program. The Somerset Mill secured this qualification through new investments in renewable energy generation. Sappi invested $49 million this past fall to upgrade the Somerset pulp mill's recovery boiler and related equipment.
Prior to this recent investment, Sappi Fine Paper North America has led the industry in the use of renewable energy and already has the lowest reported carbon footprint among domestic coated paper suppliers, with more than 85% of the total energy being derived from renewable resources at its coated fine paper mills.
Under the Green-e certification, 100% percent of the electricity used to manufacture Opus web paper at the Somerset Mill is Green-e certified renewable energy that is generated onsite by Sappi. Opus web now joins the line-up of Sappi Fine Paper North America's current Green-e certified product offerings: Sappi's McCoy web, sheets and digital; Opus sheets and digital; Opus 30 web; and Flo sheets and digital; all of which have been Green-e certified via renewable energy generated at the Cloquet Mill in Minnesota.
Green-e is the nation's leading, independent, third-party certification and verification program for renewable energy, ensuring that strict environmental and consumer protection standards are met.
Customers who choose one of Sappi Fine Paper North America's Green-e certified products and one of the Green-e Marketplace re:print certified printers for their print job can further leverage that they are minimizing their environmental footprint through the Green-e Marketplace re:print program.
"Green-e certification is a testament to Sappi Fine Paper North America's commitment to sustainability, which is fundamental to our business strategy," said Jennifer Miller, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Sappi Fine Paper North America. "As companies are increasingly seeking to minimize their impact on the environment, we are pleased that we can now offer our customers additional assurance through the added value of Green-e- a recognizable and credible labelling program, for many of our coated fine paper products," added Miller.
Based on the audit conducted for this certification, initial estimates indicate the amount of Green-e certified renewable electricity generated from renewable resources at Sappi's Somerset Mill is approximately 260 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, which is comparable to the yearly electrical usage of approximately 24,000 homes consuming nearly 11,000 kWh per year.
In addition to obtaining Green-e certification through the recovery cycle upgrade project, Sappi's Somerset Mill has also implemented several other major projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce the site's carbon footprint over the past year. This includes work underway to improve the efficiency of the pumping systems of Paper Machine Number 3 for which Sappi received an Efficiency Maine grant. Through these projects and others, the Somerset Mill continues to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
In 2008, already operating significantly better than industry average, Sappi established a five-year goal of reducing emissions from fossil fuels by 40% over its 2007 baseline. The metric for this goal includes both direct emissions from Sappi Fine Paper North America's mills, as well as emissions associated with purchased electricity. In terms of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, this is known as Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. At the end of the company's 2010 fiscal year, Sappi had already achieved more than a 40% reduction in just three years, outpacing targets proposed by climate change legislation.
"Sappi Fine Paper North America's performance data and third-party certifications such as Green-e, demonstrate that we are leading the industry when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and the use of renewable energy. We will continue to implement projects like these that demonstrate environmental responsibility," said Laura Thompson, Ph.D., Director of Sustainability and Technical Marketing, Sappi Fine Paper North America.
Sappi Fine Paper North America is a preeminent North American producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books and high-end print advertising. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Sappi Fine Paper North America is known for innovation and quality. Its brand names, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are some of the industry's most widely recognized and specified. Sappi's mills in North America are triple chain of custody certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Over 85% of the energy used by Sappi's North American mills comes from renewable resources, resulting in one of the lowest carbon footprints of any major North American coated paper supplier. Sappi Fine Paper North America is a division of Sappi Limited (NYSE and JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with manufacturing operations on four continents in 9 countries, sales offices in over 26 countries, and customers in over 100 countries around the world. For more information about Sappi Fine Paper North America, visit: www.sappi.com.
Green-e® Marketplace provides forward-thinking organizations with a simple, nationally recognized tool they can use to communicate their commitment to renewable energy to their customers and shareholders. The Green-e logo is the nation's leading symbol of renewable energy excellence and distinguishes Green-e Marketplace participants as environmental leaders. Green-e is the nation's leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e is a program of Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), a San Francisco based nonprofit with a global impact. CRS brings forth expert responses to pertinent climate change issues with the speed and effectiveness necessary to provide real-time solutions to ongoing environmental problems. CRS's leadership through collaboration and environmental innovation builds policies and consumer protection mechanisms that foster healthy and sustained growth in national and international markets for environmental solutions to climate change including renewable energy and energy efficiency. To learn more, visit Green-e Marketplace and Center for Resource Solutions.