BREWTON, Ala. (News release) -- Georgia-Pacific's Brewton Containerboard mill has been named a 2020 Energy Star Challenge Achiever for Industry by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a program developed by the agency to recognize individual facilities for volunteering to reduce energy intensity by 10% within five years.
To earn this recognition, the Brewton mill improved energy intensity by 11.2% in four years, resulting in an annual savings of approximately $2.6 million. Brewton becomes the fourth paper mill in the U.S. to achieve this prestigious designation, joined by three other Georgia-Pacific paper mills located at Palatka, Florida; Green Bay (Broadway Mill), Wisconsin; and Muskogee, Oklahoma.
"As a company, we continually look for ways to advance environmental excellence, which includes working to consume fewer resources such as energy," said Tommy Blaylock, Brewton mill vice president and mill general manager. "As a business neighbor within the region, we have a vested interest doing the right things and I'm extremely proud of our team's focus around energy efficiency and reduction efforts."
Blaylock attributes much of the mill's success in energy reduction to the 2016 installation of the mill's recovery boiler and evaporator, a $388 million project that burns residual material from the paper-making process to generate steam to power the mill. The project included a 75-megawatt turbine that can generate enough electricity to serve 60,000 homes, or the entire city of Auburn, Alabama.
The Brewton mill produces large rolls of paperboard products used to make corrugated boxes and paper plates. The facility employs more than 400, with an annual payroll and benefits of approximately than $36 million.
According to the EPA, if the energy efficiency of U.S. commercial and industrial buildings improved by 10%, Americans would save about $20 billion and reduce greenhouse gases equal to approximately 30 million vehicles.