SKOWHEGAN — Sappi Fine Paper North America’s investments in renewable energy and green certification — even a comedy video — at the Somerset mill in Skowhegan have landed the company international award nominations.

The South African-owned paper company is a finalist for four awards in the 2011 Pulp & Paper International Awards in three categories, according to a release from Amy Olson, Sappi’s manager for corporate communications in Boston.

Award winners will be announced at a ceremony at Le Plaza Hotel in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The company is up for the Environmental Strategy of the Year Award for work completed this year at the mill.

The Somerset pulp mill was certified in August by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e Energy Marketplace program for its $49 million capital investment in renewable energy generation.

Investments included upgrades to the pulp mill’s recovery boiler and related equipment. Under the Green-e certification, 100 percent of the electricity used to manufacture Sappi’s trademark Opus web paper at the Somerset mill is certified renewable energy. Green-e is the nation’s leading, independent, third-party certification and verification program for renewable energy, ensuring that strict environmental and consumer protection standards are met, according to Olson.

The second award nomination is in the category of environmental message — the Promotional Campaign of the Year Award. The campaign highlights the company’s sustainability and is designed to increase readers’ environmental knowledge with blog posts, videos and insights into the industry.

The company’s third nomination is for its promotional campaign using its own digital design center, a web application that allows printers to create custom marketing tools to promote their own digital printing capabilities and Sappi’s portfolio of digital papers to print them on.

The final nomination is for the company’s online comedy video series developed to demonstrate how print and alternate media can work together to deliver results in a multimedia campaign. The series features actors from Second City improvisational group.

Mark Rushton, editor of Pulp & Paper International and chairman of the awards jury this year said the global competition is in its third year and the entries are better than he has seen before.

“We’ve received more entries from all parts of the globe this year — from the USA to China and Europe to South America,” Rushton said. “Making the short list is a fantastic achievement for all the companies involved due to the high caliber of entries.”

Jennifer Miller, executive vice-president of strategic marketing and chief sustainability officer at Sappi, said the company is honored to be nominated as a finalist in the 2011 awards.

“Investing in our assets to make our operations more environmentally sustainable and creating innovative resources for our customers to bring our products to the market is fundamental to our strategy,” she said.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sappi Fine Paper operates manufacturing operations in nine countries on four continents, with sales offices in 35 countries and customers in more than 100 countries around the world.

The Somerset mill in Skowhegan employs 750 workers, 172 of whom are salaried employees. The rest are hourly wage earners represented by four different labor unions.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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