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Click to view Proclamation by Senator Patty Ritchie honoring Potsdam Specialty Paper as Business of the Year
Potsdam Specialty Paper Celebrated at Chamber Dinner
Friday, October 11, 2013¡ª Potsdam Specialty Paper was given the Business of the Year award at the annual St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce dinner, where the retirement of Executive Director Patricia L. McKeown was also announced.
Thursday’s annual dinner at SUNY Potsdam ¡ª attended by about 200 people ¡ª was Ms. McKeown’s last as executive director, President Ryan P. Deuel said. Her last day of work will be May 23.
The Chamber also awarded Commitment to Community awards to St. Lawrence NYSARC and William E. Dashnaw, and its Volunteer of the Year Award to Susan Gibbons.
The origins of Potsdam Specialty Paper date to a mill built in 1892 by Racquette River Paper Co. under owner George W. Sisson.
“Tucked in Unionville, they’re rarely heard about, but their impact on the St. Lawrence County economy is substantial,” said Angela M. Gray, who made the award presentation. “They’re a small-town manufacturer that competes globally.”
The mill of 80 employees produces masking tape base, special papers used in decoration ¡ª such as wallpaper base ¡ª medical paper and high-end packaging, a market that is successful because it has a niche, General Manager Ronald F. Charette said.
“I think the success of the paper industry in the north country is just that,” he said. “We’ve had 80 people since 2008. It’s pretty stable. Pretty much everybody who runs the mill is at the mill. The days of having managers who just manage people are gone.”
The plant’s success is because of its team of employees, he said.
“It’s not just my efforts,” Mr. Charette said. “It’s the efforts of everyone.”
The mill was purchased in 1998 by the Mead Corp., which modernized it. In 2008, a group of investors purchased the plant, establishing it as Potsdam Specialty Paper.
The company has invested $1.3 million in its plant with an eye toward environmental safeguards that extend beyond a single program.
“It’s just the way they do business,” Ms. Gray said.
Potsdam Specialty Paper was awarded the Advancement in Cleaner Production Award from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute of Rochester in August.
Potsdam Paper recognized for environmental efforts
Pictured above: Tony Collins, Clarkson University President; Anahita Williamson, NYSP2I’s director; Ron Charette, PSPI General Manager; Addie Russell, Assemblywoman; Ronald Bacon, CITEC Board of Directors President
THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2013- 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:
¡ö Nearly eliminating the plant’s overall landfill waste, employing a fiber recovery and landfill reduction project using equipment investments totaling nearly $700,000.
¡ö 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.
¡ö Considerable investment in the plant’s rail infrastructure ¨C including an extension of the service line ¨C 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¡ªallowing companies to remain competitive in today’s challenging global economy.
Potsdam paper credits NYSERDA for helping 100-year-old facility achieve 21st-century energy performance
January 10, 2013 – Potsdam Specialty Paper operates a century-old paper mill along the North Country’s Raquette River, producing specialized products such as base materials for wallpapers and tapes, papers used in medical settings, and paper used in industry for things like drywall corner bead. They’re recognized as the worldwide leader in papers for applications that require high wet strength
For 10 years, Potsdam has participated in NYSERDA’s FlexTech Program, notching up some truly impressive results.
Mark Decker, NYSERDA project manager, summarized those results in terms every business understands. “Our FlexTech study identified nearly eight million kilowatt-hours’ worth of electric energy savings, as well as 400,000 therms of natural gas savings. That equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars of annual cost savings for them.”
The FlexTech Program aims to increase the productivity and economic competitiveness of participating facilities by encouraging implementation of cost-effective energy-efficiency projects, using technical evaluations, process improvement analysis, energy master plans, peak load curtailment plans, combined heat and power projects and retro-commissioning—a systematic process to ensure all building systems perform interactively according to design intent.
“The biggest benefit of working with NYSERDA has been their willingness to come into our facility, help us understand where we’re trying to go with the business, help us uncover some opportunities in our facility, and provide us with that technical support—plus the funding to help us execute on projects that may not otherwise be possible for our company,” explained Doug Drumm, Potsdam’s engineering manager.
Industrial facilities and processes require customized approaches to energy efficiency, as production lines and processes often have unique characteristics and functions. NYSERDA’s Industrial and Process Efficiency Analyses focus on defining and reducing energy use per unit of production, which often improves environmental performance and minimizes waste as well.
In a 2010 story, North Country Now reporter Craig Freilich described Potsdam Specialty Paper’s green technology approach as “comprehensive... encompassing world-class waste water treatment, renewable energy strategies using hydro and biomass gasification, energy-efficiency programs for power and lighting optimization, and working with industrial waste providers to utilize scrap industrial waste in many of the products.” The mill consults with Nobel Prize winner Robert Mundell to guide them in developing more environmentally friendly operating methods.
“NYSERDA has been instrumental in helping us identify a number of energy-reduction projects that we’ve been able to execute,” Drumm said. Potsdam has already installed a regenerative brake and a number of boiler upgrades, producing over $100,000 worth of annual energy savings to date.
“NYSERDA’s played a role in Potsdam’s success by helping us reduce or control our energy costs, which at the end of the day is making us a more competitive company,” said Drumm.
President of Potsdam Specialty Paper, Inc. (PSPI) Awarded Minority Manufacturer of the Year
August 11, 2010 – Mr. Kenny Weiqun Zhang, PSPI Chairman and President, received the Minority Manufacturer of the Year award at the 28th Annual MED (Minority Enterprise Development) Week Celebration in New York City on July 21, 2010. New York MED Week is a celebration of the contributions made by minority enterprises and a chance to recognize and honor accomplished minority business owners and advocates throughout the country. The NY MED Week Committee is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency.
The criteria for receiving the award is based on the total revenue, number of employees, innovative techniques utilized and the results achieved, challenges overcome (technical, commercial, competitive or societal), and economic, environmental or societal contributions.
Mr. Kenny Weiqun Zhang is a graduate of the South China University of Technology majoring in chemistry. Zhang came to Clemson University, SC in March 1987 to carry out scientific research. In 1994, Zhang founded Coastline International. He is currently the President of Potsdam Specialty Paper, Inc.
Left to Right: Ron Charette, PSPI General Manager;Heyward Davenport, United States Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, Northeast Regional Director; Kenny Zhang, PSPI President
The SmartWood Program of the
Rainforest Alliance has certified
Potsdam Specialty Paper, Inc (PSPI) as an FSC Chain of Custody Company, committed to sound forest stewardship.
PRLog (Press Release)- April 5, 2010- Click to view Full Release
What is FSC?
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forests. FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally viable way. Landowners and companies that sell timber or forest products seek certification as a way to verify to consumers that they have practiced forestry consistent with FSC standards. For more information, visit FSC's website.
How does FSC work?
Independent certification organizations are accredited by FSC to carry out assessments of forest management to determine if standards have been met. These certifiers also verify that companies claiming to sell FSC-certified products have tracked their supply back to FSC-certified sources. This chain-of-custody certification assures that consumers can trust the FSC label.
The Paper Market
The US is the largest market for paper products in the world, producing 90 million tons of paper annually and, in-turn, consuming about 100 million tons. Despite improved technologies for refining post consumer recycled pulp, virgin fiber is still a significant requirement, as only 35% of current consumption is met by using recycled fiber. Roughly 25% by volume of timber cut annually in the US is used for paper production. The FSC certification system allows paper manufactures to know they are doing the right thing. Any product made of pulp or paper has the potential to be certified as long as the wood used in the product originates from FSC-certified sources. Julst like other forest products, in order to use the FSC logo as an "environmental claim" on paper, the product must have flowed through the FSC "chain-of-custody" from the FSC-certified forest, to paper manufacturer, merchant and finally printer who all have FSC chain-of-custody certification.
SmartWood is a program of the Rainforest Alliance, which works to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
Trees Planted in Honor of PSPI for Energy Conservation
POTSDAM, NY (June 7, 2010) - The Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc. (ECS) has honored PSPI for participating in the ECS PowerPay! demand response program by planting 10 native pine, fir and cedar trees in the Plumas National Forest in honor of PSPI's participation with this program. The PowerPay! program is an energy conservation program that focuses on reduction of energy during high times of electric demand.
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To learn more about the ISO 9000 family of standards, we encourage you to visit their website. To PSPI, our ISO9001 certification provides that extra assurance to our customers that they can count on our ability to consistently meet their expectations and receive the quality products they deserve.
This certification assures that PSPI products meet the specific performance requirements and test methods for sterilization as outlined by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN; Brussels). For more information on CEN and EN 868, please visit their website.
GMP refers to the Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations promulgated by the US Food and Drug Administration under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (See Chapter V, Subchapters A, B, C, D, and E for drugs and devices.)
These regulations, which have the force of law, require that manufacturers, processors, and packagers of drugs, medical devices, some food, and blood take proactive steps to ensure that their products are safe, pure, and effective.
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