Our Calhoun paper, pulp and tissue mill has once again earned accolades for its outstanding sustainability achievements, receiving the APEX Environmental Steward of the Year Award for 2018 from the McMinn County Economic Development Authority. The APEX Awards recognize successful environmental practices and conservation measures by industrial corporate citizens in McMinn County, Tennessee. Calhoun was chosen for having significantly improved its energy efficiency, reduced its carbon footprint and increased its use of lower-carbon fuels.
Important upgrades to Calhoun’s facilities have resulted in lower emissions as well as costs. In 2015, we invested US $100 million to install a continuous pulp digester and wood chip processing equipment at the mill, reducing installed horsepower and steam usage overall. Advanced heat and chemical recovery processes were also installed in the new digester. Between 2016 and 2017, $300 million in additional investments were made to build a state-of-the-art tissue facility. Calhoun also recently completed the permanent conversion of its four on-site boilers from coal to natural gas. The switch to lower carbon fuels, along with the enhanced energy efficiency, has considerably reduced the operation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Now operating coal-free, Calhoun has contributed significantly to the company’s global goal of reducing absolute (scope 1 and 2) GHG emissions to 65% below year 2000 levels by 2015. In 2017, we exceeded this commitment with an impressive 76% reduction.
This award is not the first time that Calhoun’s sustainability practices have been recognized. The mill, alongside Resolute’s Grenada (Mississippi) mill, took top honors at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) first-ever carbon reduction awards. In 2017, TVA presented the mills with Leadership Circle Awards, which acknowledge customers with the lowest carbon emission rates during the year.