Weyerhaeuser Sustainability Report: CO2 Intensity Down 8%
Over the year the firm reduced its total direct carbon dioxide emissions by 2 percent, from 1.42 million to 1.39 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, according to the report. Over that time period the company’s indirect carbon emissions remained static at 1.21 million metric tons of CO2e per year.
In 2006, the company committed to reducing its combined direct greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 using 2000 as a baseline. In 2010, the firm updated the reduction to include both indirect and direct emissions. According to the report, by 2011 Weyerhaeuser had reduced its combined direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent compared to 2000 levels, putting the company on course for its 2020 goal.
The report says that Weyerhaeuser’s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions include evaluating emissions from proposed energy-related investments, improving energy efficiency in its manufacturing processes and optimizing the use of cogeneration units and biomass fuels to meet its mill energy needs.
Last year the company installed a waste-heat-to-energy plant at its mill in Greenville, N.C., to provide the facility with about 4.5 million kilowatt hours of 100 percent emission-free electricity per year. The plant should displace the equivalent of more than 9 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year, the company says.
The report says that in 2011 Weyerhaeuser drew around 77 percent of its power from biomass fuels such as bark, wood residuals and other organic byproducts. This figure has remained fairly static since 2007. But the company has improved its energy efficiency year on year. In its cellulose fiber mill division, the company reduced the total energy consumed per ton of production from 28.7 million BTUs in 2010 to 28.5 million BTUs in 2011, a drop of 0.7 percent. Weyerhaeuser’s wood products operations reduced their energy intensity 1.5 percent from 3.33 to 3.28 million BTUs per ton of production.
Last year Weyerhaeuser’s Dallas Distribution Center, located in Carrollton, Texas, installed occupancy sensors and began turning off lighting during the day. Its electricity consumption dropped 61 percent.
The company reduced the water intensity of its fiber mills by just over 3 percent year-on-year. From 2010 to 2011, the amount of water discharged by Weyerhaeuser cellulose fiber mills – used by the company as a surrogate for water use – fell from 13,428 to 12,990 gallons per ton of production (see graph, below).
Weyerhaeuser’s 2012 goal is to reduce its water consumption by 20 percent over 2007 levels. By 2011 it has reduced this metric by 19 percent and, according to the report, remains on track to meet the 2012 goal.
The company’s Longview, Wash., facilities have improved the utilization of their existing water tower and reused cooling water that has not come into contact with product. These measures have helped the facilities reduce their daily water use by 33 percent, the report says.
Weyerhaeuser’s progress towards its waste reduction goal has been less successful. The company is aiming to reduce the amount of solid waste it sends to landfills by 10 percent between 2010 and 2020. However, the company increased that total 8 percent year-on-year from 103 lbs per ton of production in 2010 to 118 lbs per ton of production in 2011. Weyerhaeuser says that this jump is primarily due to one of its cellulose fiber mills emptying a wet ash pond and another mill experiencing normal variations in waste generated, coupled with lower production.
The company says that “many” of its mills are actively seeking partners that will be able to use wood residuals in their products or processes, as a means of reducing waste.
Environmental Leader’s coverage of the company’s 2010 sustainability report is available here.
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