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Extraordinary water conservation is an everyday result for Rolland

Extraordinary water conservation is an everyday result for Rolland
Renée Yardley
September 29 2017

Extraordinary water conservation is an everyday result for Rolland

The Rolland mill manufactures premium post-consumer recycled papers while recirculating each drop of water 30 times.

We do so by relying on water recovery technologies and techniques, and a workforce committed to the everyday efforts that help minimize water loss.  The environmental benefits are twofold:

  1. We use less fresh water from the local river; and
  2. Our paper mill and wastewater treatment plant have lower greenhouse gas emissions. 

Rolland’s sustainable approach to water, emphasizing technology and employee actions, is in line with the approach taken by LUSH, which has 900 cosmetics stores worldwide and manufacturing facilities in the UK, Australia, Croatia, Germany, Japan and North America.

LUSH North America’s Katrina Shum, Sustainability Officer, says LUSH focuses on two areas to minimize environmental impact around water, as well as energy, waste and freight:

The first area is the building side – building out our facilities to make them resource and energy efficient, with appropriate technologies and opportunities for reuse and recycling.”

“The second is the behavior side – getting employees to understand why we care about water. This calls for defining the issues, and demonstrating the potential collective impacts we can have across the business, then making it easy for staff to contribute in their areas.”

Water-conscious behavior is a top-down and bottom-up priority at Rolland

Management reviews environmental KPIs every week to ensure targets (e.g. water consumption and wastewater treatment) are met, if not surpassed. In the mill, control screens display water usage and alarms sound when too much is used. Every shift a routine checklist must be completed, detailing water usage and potential leakage among other indicators.

Mill employees are trained to focus on reducing water consumption and decreasing fiber loss – and to be proactive with solutions.

Water conservation reduces greenhouse gas emissions from our mill and wastewater plant

By reducing water intake and recirculating, our mill uses less energy to heat fresh water, which means lower greenhouse gas emissions.  Since recirculated water from papermaking is already warm, it requires less heating than cool fresh water to be at the temperatures required.

Recovering fiber during the papermaking process has environmental benefits at our wastewater plant, too.  First, there is less organic matter in the outflow from the paper mill.  And since there is less organic matter to process, this plant emits less methane.

Wastewater is treated in a series of lagoons where micro-organisms digest biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) that could harm aquatic life. Daily testing by Rolland confirms the efficacy of the treatment process and guides adjustments to oxygen and nutrient levels. This is in addition to the required third-party testing of final effluent samples on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Fresh water is a precious resource, so we treat it with care

Rolland’s approach to water conservation and wastewater treatment typify our broad efforts to maintain the smallest environmental footprint in the North American paper industry. In brief, we take every possible opportunity to reduce our consumption of resources – water, energy, fiber – and minimize our emissions.

In addition to environmental responsibility, all this reflects the sound operating practices that contribute to our industry-leading product quality.