Pandemic Never Stood a Chance Against Neenah Paper
Stevens Point, WI
Wisconsin Public Service
The next time you have a bottle of Spotted Cow, make sure to pay special attention to the label. That paper used will feel different than other labels on other bottles of beer. That label came from the Neenah, Inc. Whiting Facility in Stevens Point.
No one can really explain the “toilet paper run” during the pandemic in 2020. If the mill’s product wasn’t TP or paper towels, like so many other industries, the year was rough. It would have been easy to look at the “energy efficiency projects” and cut them first. That wasn’t going to happen because of the Neenah Paper Energy Team.
“The question that was always asked was, ‘you tell me you’re going to get a check from Focus on Energy for $100,000…is that real?’” Neenah Paper Technical Manager Randy Matsche said. “We ask for money for (projects), we don’t get asked that anymore. Year after year after year, it’s just a given. This is a great program.”
Cutting costs meant the Energy Team would lead the way, looking for more ways to stop energy waste. The entire company understands the need for energy efficiency and promotes it to all their employees as well as the paper industry.
Neenah, Inc.’s Whiting Paper Mill is ISO 50001 Ready – a U.S. Department of Energy recognition of organizations that create a structured energy management plan (EnMS). All employees are part of this energy efficiency effort, weaved into their training and daily work.
The facility doesn’t only have an Energy Team, it has Jon Waterman, “Energy Champion.” Led by Strategic Energy Management goals, Waterman, Process Engineer at the Whiting Mill, and the Energy Team constantly search for ways to reduce energy usage and waste.
“In the future, there’s going to be many companies like you in Wisconsin,” Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Director of Energy Innovation Joe Pater said. “We will be able to point to you and others and say, ‘these are the companies who led us.’”
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) works in tandem with the Focus on Energy advisor for these projects at the Whiting Facility, from simple LED lighting and VFD additions to complex heat recovery projects and projects to reduce cold water additions into the heated process.
“You are a shining example of what manufacturers can do to save energy and, it’s good for business,” 71st Assembly District Representative Katrina Shankland said. “I want to congratulate you on your hard work and continually seeing you surpass those goals.”
Focus on Energy has provided more than $1.4 million in incentives for these projects and Neenah Paper is preparing for its next energy efficiency project scheduled for 2022.