It takes energy to make and deliver our products. For PCA, improving energy efficiency and getting more of that energy from renewable sources is another important part of our sustainability strategy. In recent years, much of our energy focus has been on using biofuel resources we already have — energy-producing materials collected as byproducts of the manufacturing process.
Major investments at our mills in the last decade have brought about significant and positive changes in how PCA creates and uses energy. Building an enclosure over the wastewater treatment lagoon at our Tomahawk, Wisconsin, medium mill facilitated the capture of methane gas generated through the decomposition of organic materials. The captured methane is used as fuel for our boilers, resulting in significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Replacements and upgrades of boilers, turbines and other major equipment at our linerboard mills in Counce, Tennessee, and Valdosta, Georgia, and at our medium mill in Filer City, Michigan, have greatly increased both our capacity to self-generate electricity and our use of wood waste and black liquor as energy sources.
Approximately 61 percent of PCA’s energy for manufacturing comes from byproducts. Through our ongoing commitment to increased energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources, PCA is a significant contributor to the pulp and paper industry’s collective sustainability results.
A state-of-the-art recovery boiler has enabled PCA's containerboard mill in Valdosta, Georgia, to self-generate over 85% of its electricity requirements.