SC Johnson Breaks Ground for New 'Green Energies' Project

SC Johnson Breaks Ground for New 'Green Energies' Project

SC Johnson has broken ground for the installation of a new system that transforms waste landfill methane gas into "green" energy using a process called cogeneration. SC Johnson is the first consumer products manufacturer to use the cogeneration process to power its main manufacturing site operations.

The site of the groundbreaking will house a turbine engine that burns waste methane gas from a nearby landfill to produce electricity and steam for use by the company’s facility in Waxdale. By burning methane instead of fossil fuels, such as natural gas or coal, the company expects to reduce Waxdale's emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 47% and cut fossil fuel energy use nearly in half by 2005.

"The greenhouse gases we save through this process will be equivalent to keeping 3,200 cars off the road per year," said Dr. H. Fisk Johnson, Chairman of SC Johnson. "That's right for SCJ, our community and our planet today -- and even more important, it's right for the generations of tomorrow."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only about 30 U.S. companies have developed an energy recovery system utilizing otherwise wasted landfill methane. But SC Johnson is unique in its cogeneration process of using methane gas to make electricity and recovering waste heat for use in the Waxdale plant as steam.

"SC Johnson's commitment to the environment and renewable energy development reflects the values and innovative spirit of people in Southern Wisconsin," said U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. "Their leadership also demonstrates that environmental stewardship can play a critical role in reducing the cost of doing business, which helps keep and create more jobs in today's economy."

The project is part of SC Johnson's efforts in the U.S. EPA's Climate Leaders Initiative, a voluntary partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The system is projected to be fully operational by the end of 2003.

The groundbreaking took place just three days after SC Johnson received the first-ever Lifetime Atmospheric Achievement Award from the U.S. EPA, recognizing the company for its longstanding commitment to protecting the ozone layer and climate.