SMART Papers Begins Transition To Carbon-Neutral, Biomass Energy Production
SMART Papers, Hamilton, Ohio, has begun construction on a new $30 million high-efficiency energy co-generation facility at its manufacturing center, marking an important first for the North American papermaking industry. By early 2009, SMART Papers will produce all of its own power and begin a transition to 100 percent cellulosic biomass fuel. By late 2009, said company officials, all products will be fully carbon neutral and produced 100 percent fossil-fuel free.
SMART Papers said its products will be carbon-neutral because its manufacturing center will be powered by 100 percent biomass—primarily yard waste, as well as industrial wood and fiber waste. Biomass emits no net carbon dioxide, since the carbon in the biomass originates from carbon dioxide that was recently in the atmosphere. The project’s full scope will enable SMART Papers to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its Hamilton manufacturing facility. No food crops will be used, no farmland will be displaced and no timber will be harvested to provide fuel.
The $30 million investment and drive to achieve full carbon neutrality at SMART Papers comes as the State of Ohio and the U.S. government develop new laws and regulations on carbon emissions. The Ohio Senate and House recently passed legislation which requires up to 12.5 percent of the state’s electricity consumption come from renewable sources by 2025. Under the law, half of that must be generated within Ohio.
“SMART Papers is the first North American premium papermaker to begin the process of becoming truly 100 percent carbon neutral and fossil fuel free in its papermaking production,” said SMART Papers Chairman Tim Needham. “This is a major environmental advance in papermaking—we have set a new standard for environmentally responsible printing papers. The production of these papers will leave the lightest environmental footprint of any premium coated or uncoated printing paper produced in North America.”