Fujifilm recently announced that its primary US manufacturing complex, located in Greenwood, S.C., has begun using methane gas from a local community landfill to power approximately 40 percent of its operations.
Company officials joined local government leaders and guests to celebrate the project’s completion at the Greenwood County Landfill. This is one of many steps Fujifilm Corporation is taking to reduce greenhouse emissions at its facilities worldwide. In the U.S., the company aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2012.
“The completion of this project is a major accomplishment and a step in the right direction for the environment,” said Shin Kataoka, President of Fujifilm Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. “The landfill gas to energy project goes a long way toward meeting our global target for reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere,” Mr. Kataoka continued.
Globally Fujifilm has committed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 40% from its 1990 numbers by 2012, and is engaged in the active pursuit of new energy fuels that will prevent global warming. The company recently announced plans to develop a wind farm in Tilburg, The Netherlands, to supply a portion of the electricity needs of Fujifilm Manufacturing Europe B.V., which manufactures color photo paper and offset printing plates.
By using the methane as energy in Greenwood, Fujifilm is preventing methane emissions from being released into the atmosphere from the landfill. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that is 21 times stronger in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon-dioxide, thereby contributing to local smog and global climate change. This system will also reduce Fujifilm’s natural gas usage and relieve some of the demand for this limited natural resource.
“We are extremely happy this project worked out,” said Robbie Templeton, Chairman of the Greenwood County Council. The County was facing a deadline imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce or eliminate methane emissions from the Landfill. In the absence of a partner like Fujifilm, the County’s other option was to flare, or burn-off, the gas at the landfill. “Once again FUJIFILM proves itself to be one of our best corporate citizens,” Templeton continued.
Fujifilm uses the gas in two of its specially equipped boilers with a dual burner system that can be switched back and forth between landfill source methane and natural gas purchased from the Commission of Public Works. Fujifilm plans to use at least 197 billion Btu’s of energy from the landfill per year. According to the EPA (using national averages), this amount of energy would provide annual heating for over 5,000 homes. The amount of CO2 emissions destroyed and avoided would be equal to the emissions from over 17,000 vehicles each year.