We recognize water use and water quality as global social and environmental issues. In 2009, we participated in a forest
products industry research study that evaluated best practices and approaches to reducing water use in pulp and paper manufacturing.
Research indicates that approximately 88 percent of the water used in the forest products manufacturing process is treated
and returned to the environment.
Still, making pulp and paper requires large volumes of water, and we are working on ways to reduce water use in our operations.
Our cellulose fibers mills practice a high degree of internal water recycling to minimize energy, chemical and water use,
cascading freshwater from highest to lowest quality process uses before treating and returning to receiving waters. As part
of our membership in the U.S. Business Roundtable S.E.E.
Change Initiative, we set a water-use reduction goal in May 2008 to reduce water use at our cellulose fibers mills
20 percent by 2012, from a 2007 baseline. The goal-setting process included analyzing water use at our cellulose fibers
mills and comparing performance to industry benchmarks. We include separate cooling water discharges as part of our total
water use at these mills. In 2011, we achieved a 19 percent water use reduction compared to our 2007 baseline.
We also monitor the effect of our forest management on water quantity and quality. For instance, in Uruguay, where we
planted trees on former grazing land, we initiated a long-term study in 1999 to determine the effect of forest establishment
on hydrology and water quality. This study is being done in collaboration with North Carolina State University, the federal
agricultural research agency in Uruguay (INIA) and the Universidad de al Republica, a major research university in Montevideo.
We recently expanded our sustainability studies in Uruguay to assess the effects of plantation establishment on native plant
diversity and bird communities.
Sustainability in Action
Cooling off on water use
Since our Cellulose Fibers business adopted a water use goal in 2008, our Longview, Wash., facility has focused on efforts
to reduce water use in their manufacturing process.
Longview uses non-contact cooling water to cool process equipment. Non-contact cooling water is clean, since it does not
come into contact with fiber or other chemical substances, but is typically discharged at a higher temperature than when
it enters the mill.
Since 2007, Longview and our NORPAC facilities implemented projects that reduced their daily water use (measured by effluent
discharge) by more than 33 percent.
A variety of projects have contributed to this reduction including:
- Improving utilization of their existing cooling tower
- Reusing non-contact cooling water by recycling it to another part of the process
- Sending non-contact cooling water to NORPAC, another onsite facility. Once the water has been used in the Longview process,
it is warm and reduces NORPAC’s need to purchase steam to heat the water to its desired temperature.
In the cellulose fibers manufacturing process, reducing water use often results in reduced energy use as well because the
facility is able to maximize efficient use of steam heat.
The diagram below shows the many ways that our company is connected to the water cycle, from growing and harvesting sustainably managed timberlands to producing wood products from renewable resources.