Windmills Power Mohawk Paper Mills
Mohawk Paper Mills are the only paper mills in the U.S. to use wind energy to manufacture paper. With many of its corporate customers seeking ways to mitigate impacts on the environment and looking for a means to highlight their contributions to socially responsible organizations, Mohawk responded by developing a line of process-chlorine-free 100% recycled paper manufactured with non-polluting, wind-generated energy from wind farms in upstate New York and Pennsylvania.
Mohawk first purchased a turbine's worth of wind power in 2004 for its Cohoes, New York plant increasing that amount in 2005 to the output of 2.5 turbines. Then, on April 30, 2005, when Mohawk announced its acquisition of the Fine Papers group from International Paper Company, it began negotiating a new contract to provide wind power to its newly acquired Beckett Mill in Hamilton, Ohio. On June 1, Mohawk will begin taking an additional 35,000 kWh of power for the Beckett Mill. The third in two years, this commitment allowed Mohawk to join the highest level EPA Green Power Partnership Leadership Club.
According to George Milner, Mohawk's senior vice president of energy, environmental, and governmental affairs, wind energy now provides 21% of the total power for its two mills in upstate New York and 50% of the annual power required for the Beckett Mill in Ohio. "There is a misconception that choosing the environmentally correct path costs a lot more," notes Milner, "but with the technological advances in windmills, the cost of wind power is within range of traditional energy sources. And our customers find it a tangible way to express their own commitment to sustainability."
Thomas D. O'Connor, Jr., Mohawk’s chairman and CEO, says: "Many U.S. paper mills have moved their production facilities offshore. Mohawk Paper, by contrast, is thriving in New York State and has recently doubled its size through the acquisition of the Fine Papers group from International Paper Company. Our commitment to environmental excellence has sustained -- even propelled us -- to where we are today. Response to our Wind Power Portfolio has opened up new markets with customers committed to preserving the Earth’s natural resources."
Mohawk Wind Power Portfolio customers include General Electric, Fed Ex/Kinkos, and BP Oil. The Sierra Club recently purchased the environmentally friendly paper to use as packaging for distribution of a DVD about the oil drilling controversy in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge.
"Mohawk Paper has assumed an impressive leadership role in environmental stewardship," says Jeff Jones, communications director of Environmental Advocates of New York. "As neighbors here in the Capital Region of upstate New York, we know they have worked hard to clean up their industrial processes, protect our air, water and communities. Now they are producing top-quality recycled paper with wind-generated electricity and their business is growing. This is a win for the economy of our area and a win for the environment. Others should follow their lead."
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