April 3, 2023 - Sonoco has upgraded its Hartsville wastewater treatment site to significantly reduce carbon emissions. The company began treating wastewater from its paper operations in the 1950's and in 1987, an anaerobic lagoon was added to improve the system's efficiency.
Anaerobic wastewater treatment is a highly efficient treatment process that uses less energy and produces less sludge than conventional aerobic treatment. The organic matter in the wastewater is converted to carbon dioxide and methane. In addition to the anaerobic treatment, a cover on the lagoon had been capturing the gases and routing them to a flare for destruction.
In partnership with renewable natural gas developer GreenGasUSA, new biogas equipment now converts any gaseous methane to pipeline quality renewable natural gas for use in homes and businesses using the existing interstate pipeline system. It's expected to reduce Sonoco's greenhouse gas emissions by 8,000 metric tons per year and provide renewable energy to South Carolina.
"We're proud of our sustainability record in Hartsville and our history of doing the right thing for the environment," said Sonoco Vice President of Environmental, Sustainability, & Technical Services Elizabeth Rhue. "This GreenGasUSA partnership allows us to take our efforts one step further by turning a waste gas into a valuable resource for the community while reducing our carbon footprint."
A leading provider of renewable energy solutions, GreenGas helps farmers, food producers and manufacturers capture greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their operations and convert the waste streams into renewable natural gas (RNG) for use as a zero- and negative-carbon fuel source to offset and reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Sonoco has had a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship. The company has set ambitious goals aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement. They involve reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 from a 2020 base year and absolute scope 3 emissions by 13.5% from a 2019 base year.
Founded in 1899, Sonoco (NYSE: SON) is a leading manufacturer of consumer, industrial, healthcare and protective packaging.
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