GREEN FILES: Reducing Energy Use at a Wisconsin Paper Plant

Ronald Schoch is the President of United Steelworkers Local 2-0445 in Park Falls, Wisconsin, where he works as a back tender for Flambeau River Papers.

January 21, 2010

Ron-S1Ronald Schoch is the President of United Steelworkers Local 2-0445 in Park Falls, Wisconsin, where he works as a back tender for Flambeau River Papers. His father and grandfather both worked at the mill and he followed in their footsteps.

Flambeau River Papers has dramatically reduced their energy usage since they reopened in 2006, striving to become fossil fuel free. They are developing a biorefinery to produce cellusoic biofuels and they hope to produce 7.7 million gallons of biodiesel, while exporting steam to the onsite paper mill. The plants carbon footprint has been greatly reduced in the last three years, and their goal is to become the first self-sustained pulp and paper mill in North America, according to Schoch.

Schoch says he believes the only way the working class is going to survive and be vibrant is to explore energy alternatives and that he is proud to work for a company with the foresight to see what it will take to be successful in the future.