greenpiece: Company Ups Its Green
West Linn Paper, headquartered in West Linn, Ore., promises to boost its shade of green.
The company has increased its commitment to renewable energy by buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), an entrepreneurial nonprofit that aims to create a more sustainable future by investing in clean energy and fresh water, for 2009 and 2010. The purchase offsets about 3 percent of the company's annual electricity use for its corporate offices and manufacturing facilities.
In addition, West Linn Paper has just been accepted into the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership program. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program supporting the increased use of green power to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.
Program participants opt to purchase billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. These participants represent a wide variety of organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, small- and medium-sized businesses, colleges and universities and local, state and federal governments.
"We are thrilled to be participating in the EPA's Green Power Partnership," said Penny Machinski, the company's environmental manager. "We've made good progress with energy conservation projects recently, reducing our fuel demand by 13 percent since 2005, and the Green Power Partnership provides a new tool to help us demonstrate to our employees, customers and community, that environmental sustainability is core to our business practices."
The purchase of RECs is just one of the many elements of West Linn Paper's overall corporate sustainability initiative. Other environmental best-practices include: working closely with all pulp suppliers to ensure responsible forest management; consistently exceeding regulatory requirements in water quality, quantity and temperature; taking a progressive approach to reduce energy use and improve air quality; improving waste material recycling; and encouraging active participation among all employees.
This is the seventh year West Linn Paper has purchased RECs from BEF, making the company one of the early adopters of corporate environmental stewardship practices. Each REC purchased by West Linn Paper Company represents one megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable electricity generated and delivered to the power grid. This energy will displace the generation of conventional electricity throughout the power system and reduce emissions into the atmosphere. West Linn Paper Company's purchase supports enough clean energy to power almost 374 homes for one year and help keep at least 2,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.