[Cohoes, NY] – Paper manufacturers are not usually associated with progressive environmental policies – but Mohawk Paper Mills is not a ‘usual’ paper manufacturer. In an era of downsizing and production cuts, Mohawk Paper, a family-owned upstate New York producer of premium printing papers, has been quietly growing market share through product, process, and environmental innovation. The company is well-known for quality among professional designers and printers. (Mohawk papers have graced the covers of every hardcover U.S. edition of Harry Potter, for example.)
On June 1, 2005, Mohawk Paper Mills will begin using 45 million kilowatt hours (kWh) pollution-free wind power annually to run its two mills in New York as well as a newly purchased facility in Ohio. With this annual consumption, Mohawk Paper will become a national leader in the use of wind power for manufacturing, second only to Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest consumers of electricity in the United States.
Mohawk Paper Mills are the only paper mills in the U.S. to use wind energy to manufacture paper. Over the past two years, Mohawk Paper has taken a leadership role in producing environmental papers. With many of its corporate customers seeking ways to mitigate impacts on the environment and looking for a means to highlight their contributions to socially responsible organizations, Mohawk responded by developing a line of process-chlorine-free 100% recycled paper manufactured with non-polluting, wind-generated energy from wind farms in upstate New York and Pennsylvania.
Mohawk first purchased a turbine’s worth of wind power in 2004 for its Cohoes, New York, plant increasing that amount in 2005 to the output of 2.5 turbines. Then, on April 30, 2005, when Mohawk announced its acquisition of the Fine Papers group from International Paper Company, it began negotiating a new contract to provide wind power to its newly acquired Beckett Mill in Hamilton, Ohio. On June 1, Mohawk will begin taking an additional 35,000 kWh of power for the Beckett Mill. The third in two years, this commitment allowed Mohawk to join the highest level EPA Green Power Partnership Leadership Club.
According to George Milner, Mohawk’s Senior Vice President, Energy, Environmental and Governmental Affairs, wind energy now provides 21% of the total power for its two mills in upstate New York and 50% of the annual power required for the Beckett Mill in Ohio. “There is a misconception that choosing the environmentally correct path costs a lot more,” notes Milner, “but with the technological advances in windmills, the cost of wind power is within range of traditional energy sources. And our customers find it a tangible way to express their own commitment to sustainability.”
According to Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., Mohawk’s Chairman and CEO, “Many U.S. paper mills have moved their production facilities offshore. Mohawk Paper, by contrast, is thriving in New York State and has recently doubled its size through the acquisition of the Fine Papers group from International Paper Company. Our commitment to environmental excellence has sustained - even propelled us - to where we are today. Response to our Wind Power Portfolio has opened up new markets with customers committed to preserving the earth’s natural resources.”
Mohawk Wind Power Portfolio customers include General Electric, Fed Ex/Kinkos and BP Oil. The Sierra Club recently purchased the environmentally friendly paper to use as packaging for distribution of a DVD about the oil drilling controversy in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge.
"Mohawk Paper has assumed an impressive leadership role in environmental stewardship. As neighbors here in the Capital Region of upstate New York, we know they have worked hard to clean up their industrial processes, protect our air, water and communities. Now they are producing top-quality recycled paper with wind-generated electricity and their business is growing. This is a win for the economy of our area and a win for the environment. Others should follow their lead."-- Jeff Jones - Communications Director, Environmental Advocates of New York.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.