Sweat the Small Stuff on Energy and Emissions

Oct 11, 2016 10:00 AM ET

Ongoing public concerns about climate change, energy security and economic conditions keep energy use and greenhouse gas emissions top of mind for our key stake­holders. Energy is the third largest draw on our operat­ing costs behind wood fiber and chemicals. As such, we hold a long-standing commitment to control energy usage. Environmental impact is affected not only by the amount of energy, but also by the type of energy consumed. We have made significant effort to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to separate our operations from the volatility of energy prices.

The forest products industry is the largest producer of bioenergy of any industrial sector. In North America, over 70 percent of the total energy consumed by our mills is derived from renewable sources, resulting in the lowest average carbon footprint of domestic freesheet suppliers.

In reporting greenhouse gas emissions, we do not include carbon dioxide emissions derived from biogenic sources (e.g., woody biomass, black liquor). Recognition of the carbon neutrality of biogenic fuels is the basis for various pieces of legislation around the world. Governments continue to implement incentives and mandates to increase the use of renewable fuels.

Sappi fully supports the AF&PA recommendation to treat forest-derived biomass as carbon neutral where the growth rate of forests is greater than or equal to harvest levels. Accounting frameworks should be regional and consistent with the US Forest Service’s robust Forest Inventory and Analysis program. Furthermore, policies should not construct artificial mandates or incentives, which disrupt the nation’s existing efficient and balanced forest biomass markets.

Learn more about our carbon footprint in the 2015 Sappi North America Sustainability Report: http://bit.ly/21KNUHW.