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GP Monticello Recognized For Conservation Efforts
Covington Box Reaps (CONT’D FROM PAGE 30)
expenses, that being electricity. And since the cost of so- lar has come down tremendously in the last three years and the USDA provided the grant, it made good business sense to do it. It’s also a darn good feeling to know that we are helping to do our part for the environment.” The solar system’s name – SolarCam – comes from its cam-lock system that allows the owner to change the an- gle of the solar panels four times a year. Covington Box’s solar panels are laid back at 12 degrees from horizontal for the summer season and can deliver 11 to 12 percent more energy. They achieve the same efficiency as panels that track the sun from east to west during the day, but with less wear on the equipment. Adding to the convenience and efficiency factor is the fact that the solar system’s ac- tivity can be tracked by an app on a smartphone or com- puter. “That solar field is providing 100 percent of our electri- cal needs in our 200,000-square-foot facility. The system prevents 395 tons of carbon dioxide per year from enter- ing the atmosphere, which leaves 294 acres of forest free to absorb carbon dioxide from other sources. That blew me away,” says Fifer. “What a way to help the environment — and with the dollars that we’re going to save on the expenses, we can reinvest in something that’s going to help all of us: the company, our employees and the community.”
Atlanta, Georgia based Georgia-Pacific’s containerboard mill in Monticello, Mississippi, has again been awarded a Conservation Certification from the Wildlife Habitat Coun- cil, an international organization that works with industrial sites to promote wildlife habitats. GP Monticello was re-certified based on two annu- al projects, the Catch-A-Dream Foundation hunt and a project to monitor wildlife on the mill’s property. Catch-A- Dream Foundation grants once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing experiences to children with life-threatening illness- es. GP Monticello hosts a child and his or her family for a days-long experience on the 2,000 acres surrounding the mill. Guides make sure the child harvests a trophy, and the mount and processing are provided by the mill. GP Monticello has hosted a dream hunt each year since 2002. Several employees volunteer to make the hunt a success. In addition to the hunt, the environmental depart- ment at the mill tracks deer sightings on the property to monitor their activities. An alligator monitoring project is similar in that the department documents the movement and location of alligators that live in mill ponds and wet- land areas. Monitoring efforts helped the environmental team determine that the mill has minimal impacts on the ecosystem of alligators and deer.
June 22, 2020
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