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The Final Word by Chuck Swann
Procter & Gamble, one of America's universal, amalgamated everything corporations, has announced a major foray into the "going green" world. P&G has announced plans to use 100% wind power to make its fabric and home care brands in the USA. It is entering a partnership with EDF Renewable Energy, a French company, for a new Texas-based wind farm that will generate 370,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year. The wind farm is planned to be fully operational in December 2016.

Most famous for soaps and personal care products, P&G is also a market leader in paper for the home with Bounty® paper towels, Charmin® bathroom tissue, Puffs® facial tissue and paper napkins. The electricity won't be used to make paper, however. It will be directed to P&G's other fabric and home care products manufacturing facilities in Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio. Those plants use about 300,000 MWh of electricity annually.

The wind farm will be built in Cooke County, Texas, and will be owned by EDF RE, but P&G has signed a 12-year contract to buy power from it. The wind farm's output of 370,000 MWh is enough to power nearly 34,000 homes, according to the US Energy Department or, as the president of P&G's fabric care unit put it, "...enough electricity to wash a million loads of laundry." It will reduce P&G's carbon emissions by 200,000 metric tons annually. P&G will continue to use natural gas for process and comfort heating in its plants.

Although the wind-generated power won't be used to make paper, it is a safe bet that some engineers and visionaries in the company are thinking about the possibility--someday--of using "green" electricity to power a paper mill. Or if not a whole mill, at least a paper machine. And wouldn't that make for a grand public and consumer relations program!

Chuck Swann is the senior editor of Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at chuck.swann@taii.com.


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