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Potsdam Paper recognized for enviromental efforts

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POTSDAM - The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute has recognized Potsdam Specialty Paper Inc. for innovative environmental efforts that have resulted in significant reductions in the plant’s waste and energy usage.

NYSP2I, which is managed and operated at Rochester Institute of Technology, presented the award to PSPI during a ceremony at the paper mill on Aug. 1.

The paper mill earned NYSP2I’s Advancement in Cleaner Production Award for making significant investments in projects that have considerably reduced the plant’s environmental footprint. These include:

■ Nearly eliminating the plant’s overall landfill waste, employing a fiber recovery and landfill reduction project using equipment investments totaling nearly $700,000.

■ Several conservation projects that have contributed to decreasing electricity consumption by nearly four million kilowatt hours annually, along with increased heat recovery, resulting in an annual savings of nearly $200,000.

■ Considerable investment in the plant’s rail infrastructure – including an extension of the service line – that has enabled the paper mill to receive and ship materials that were formerly limited to trucking exclusively. The change has resulted in the annual reduction of nearly 4.5 tons of CO2 emissions.

Potsdam Specialty Paper received the environmental award after successfully implementing the recommendations of CITEC Business Solutions, which assessed and recommended the three-tiered strategy for the paper mill to address its waste-management and power-consumption challenges. CITEC is a not-for-profit economic development organization that receives financial support from Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation, which works to facilitate the integration of innovation and technology throughout New York’s economic development efforts; and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

“The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is pleased to recognize Potsdam Specialty Paper for its leadership in environmental and sustainability initiatives,” says Anahita Williamson, NYSP2I’s director. “PSPI is a great example of how proactive New York businesses can leverage available support to directly tie improved environmental performance with economic benefits for a win-win.”

“Potsdam Specialty Paper Mill is proud to be recognized by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute for our environmental efforts,” says Ronald F. Charette, general manager, Potsdam Specialty Paper. “We believe the paper industry needs to be stewards of our environment. While we have always demonstrated this strong commitment, our recent investments have significantly reduced our plant’s environmental footprint even further.”

“We see Potsdam Specialty Paper’s efforts as a model for paper mill’s facing similar environmental issues,” says William P. Murray, CITEC’s executive director. “Mills that can invest in energy efficiency will increase their competitiveness, thereby boosting production, while reducing energy costs.”

State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo (R/C/I-Rome) believes the paper mill’s award is well earned.

“PSPI empowers its management and employees to reduce its carbon footprint and implement practices that will allow the company to preserve the environment, produce quality products and propel their workforce,” says Griffo. “I commend the Pollution Prevention Institute for recognizing PSPI and I salute the owners, management, and staff of PSPI for being an environmentally conscious part of our North Country community.”

Assemblyman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) noted that the award is yet another example of the paper mill’s ongoing commitment to the environment.

“Potsdam Specialty Paper is not only the cornerstone of this local economy but it is a conscientious member of our community. They understand corporate responsibility does not end with their bottom line,” says Russell. “They deserve this recognition for making these investments in conservation measures. I applaud their sense of responsibility to this community and to the global environment as well.”

NYSP2I provides comprehensive and integrated programming in technology research, development, training and education aimed at promoting sustainability across New York state. Partners include Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo, and New York’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers. The institute is funded through the Environmental Protection Fund and managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

NYSP2I promotes cost-effective pollution-prevention techniques that aid businesses in reducing manufacturing costs, reducing energy and water usage, decreasing toxics and hazardous substances and decreasing overall waste streams—allowing companies to remain competitive in today’s challenging global economy.

Go to http://www.nysp2i.rit.edu to learn more about NYSP2I.

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