In a bid to clean up China’s second largest freshwater lake, local authorities in Hunan Province will close all pulp and paper mills around Dongting Lake by the end of 2019. The c18,000 people employed in the Province's pulp and paper industry will be supported by the local authorityin to new employment. This move is part of wider water pollution controls active since 2006 in Hunan Province. They have led to closures of over 200 waste paper pulping factories and 30 pulp and paper making facilities. The efforts to restore the lake over the past 40 years have helped it extend its area by 30%, providing better flood resilience in the region.
A WRI analysis of the pulp and paper sector, which is the third-largest energy user in US manufacturing, found that it could cost-effectively reduce its energy use in the Midwest by 25 per cent through the use of existing technologies. Against the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program, nearly two-thirds of Midwest mills fall short of the national average for energy performance. Total annual energy costs could be reduced by $120 million by reducing process energy requirements, capturing waste heat and increasing efficient on-site energy use. This could also have a knock-on effect of boosting production and increasing jobs. The report highlights the ISO 50001 standard which helps companies to introduce and systematically track facility energy performance against targets.