ALPHARETTA, Ga., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Neenah Paper (NYSE: NP), one of the country's leading premium paper manufacturers, announced today that it is purchasing over 10 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy, making it one of the largest purchasers of green power in the paper industry. Neenah Paper is also the largest purchaser of green power in the entire state of Wisconsin, where its mills are located. The purchase is 12 percent of Neenah Paper's total energy purchase for its Wisconsin fine paper manufacturing operations. The purchase also qualifies Neenah Paper for distinguished membership in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership, a program recognizing organizations for exemplary green power purchases. Neenah Paper's energy purchase consists of environmentally preferable, renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, low-impact hydro and biomass. Renewable resources have little to no impact on the environment and produce no net greenhouse gas emissions in generating electricity. The fast-growing recycled brand, ENVIRONMENT(R) Papers, and two finishes of the EAMES(TM) Paper Collection (Painting and Furniture finishes) will be made entirely with renewable energy. "It is Neenah Paper's great honor to be recognized as a major purchaser of green power in the paper industry and as the top purchaser of green power in the entire state of Wisconsin, a state that is nationally renowned for its significant environmental strides," said Bill O'Connor, President, Paper Group. "Our customers appreciate and support responsible stewardship of our natural resources and this purchase will make a difference that will be heard throughout the paper industry." This purchase reinforces Neenah Paper's ongoing commitment to using alternative energies. In January 2006, the company announced it would purchase 350 million pounds of Green Steam annually to dry paper during manufacturing and also to heat the mill in Neenah, Wis. This reduces both Neenah Paper's natural gas consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere by 80 percent every year. Decreasing carbon dioxide by this amount is equivalent to planting 250,000 tree seedlings, which naturally remove carbon dioxide from the air. The steam was declared "green" by the State of Wisconsin because it is derived from a renewable, organic source: wastewater sludge from paper mills. Neenah Paper's Green Power Purchase Neenah Paper is purchasing over 10 million kWh of Green-e certified renewable energy annually from We Energies' Energy for Tomorrow program. This is one of only nine utility renewable energy programs certified as Green-e in the country. For the fifth straight year, it has been ranked among the nation's top 10 green energy programs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Green-e is the nation's leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy products and is managed by the Center for Resource Solutions, a nonprofit organization working to build a robust renewable energy market by increasing demand and supply of renewable resources. "We are extremely pleased to have Neenah Paper participating in the Energy for Tomorrow program," said Wally Kunicki, We Energies vice president - Customer Relations. "This not only underscores Neenah Paper's commitment to using alternative energy solutions, but it is also an example of how businesses can create better opportunities for others to do the same." Neenah Paper Now a Member of EPA's Green Power Partnership Members of the Green Power Partnership pledge to replace a portion of their electricity consumption with green power. Neenah Paper has exceeded the minimum purchase requirements of the Green Power Partnership, making the short list of organizations recognized as Green Power Leadership Club members. According to EPA, the environmental benefit of Neenah Paper's green power purchase is equivalent to reducing the CO2 emissions associated with the combustion of 1,037,754 gallons of gasoline. This is the equivalent of reducing the emissions associated with the conventional electricity needed to power 1,170 average American homes for one year. "EPA applauds Neenah Paper's efforts to protect the environment by purchasing clean, renewable energy for its Neenah, Wisconsin facilities," said Matt Clouse, program director for EPA's Green Power Partnership. "With this purchase, Neenah Paper is both demonstrating environmental leadership and helping reduce our nation's dependence on foreign energy resources." About Neenah Paper Neenah Paper manufactures and distributes a wide range of premium and specialty paper grades, with leading positions in many of its markets and well-known brands such as CLASSIC(R), ENVIRONMENT(R), UV/ULTRA(R) II, NEENAH(R), EAMES(TM) and other fine brand names. Neenah Paper is a proud consumer of green power and participates in EPA's Green Power Partnership. Neenah also manufactures many brands carrying the Green-e, Green Seal and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications. For more information, call 1-800-558-5061 and press "5" or visit the web site at http://www.neenahpaper.com. About We Energies We Energies serves more than one million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and more than one million natural gas customers in Wisconsin. Its energy prices are more than 10 percent below the average for major U.S. cities. We Energies is the trade name of Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Gas LLC, the principal utility subsidiaries of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC). Visit the We Energies Web site at http://www.we-energies.com/eft. About EPA's Green Power Partnership EPA's Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program helping to increase the use of green power among leading U.S. organizations. The program encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the risk of climate change and environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, local, state, and federal governments, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
SOURCE Neenah Paper