The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recognized Seaman Paper Company of Massachusetts, Inc. as a leader in sustainability with a 2015 AF&PA Sustainability Award. The award was presented at AF&PA’s annual meeting on Friday, Nov. 13 in San Antonio, Texas.
Seaman Paper received a Leadership in Sustainability Award for Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction (small company) for their Soft Steps Forward Initiative. Designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry, AF&PA’s annual sustainability awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories.
“Seaman Paper’s achievements in advancing their energy efficiency are a testament to their perseverance and ingenuity, which is sure to lead to continuous improvement in years to come,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.
As part of the Soft Steps Forward Initiative, Seaman Paper committed to decrease their purchased fuel and electricity dependency. Seaman Paper now produces 97 percent of their steam requirements from carbon-neutral biomass, and installed a backpressure turbine that runs on steam to meet their electricity needs. These measures helped decrease Seaman Paper’s total energy cost despite the sharp increases in oil and electricity costs over the past decade.
“Many thanks to AF&PA for recognizing our achievements in energy conservation,” said Seaman Paper President & CEO George Jones. “We are proud of our success in establishing an economically feasible project for a mill of our size.”
AF&PA member company applicants are considered in two categories. Projects that support progress toward the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals qualify for recognition in the “Leadership” category, which has five subcategories that correspond to the goals: Paper Recovery for Recycling, Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Sustainable Forest Management, Safety, and Water. The “Innovation in Sustainability” award is reserved for projects that merit recognition for their contribution to sustainable business practices, not one of the goals specifically.
AF&PA releases its sustainability report every other year. The 2014 Sustainability Report showed that the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturing industry has made significant, measurable progress toward achieving its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals.