Atlanta, Georgia based DS Smith, a leading provider of sustainable, fiber-based packaging worldwide, announced the installation of new steam recycling technology they say will reduce energy consumption by 20 percent in its Columbia, South Carolina corrugated packaging facility. This investment is part of DS Smith’s sustainability commitments to its North American customers.
The new multi-million-dollar Baviera Steam Systems technology installed at the specialty coated box manufacturing plant recovers condensate typically lost in the corrugation process. Energy savings created through condensate recovery reduces DS Smith’s carbon footprint in Columbia, and the new technology also increases productivity by reducing maintenance downtime at the plant.
“Our South Carolina facility makes water-resistant, fully recyclable Greencoat boxes for fresh poultry and produce providers — agribusinesses that recognize decarbonization as a key factor to their continued success,” said Steven Rose, Managing Director, Packaging, for DS Smith North America Packaging and Paper (NAPP). “With this investment, we are decreasing the amount of natural gas consumed at the facility by 20 percent, substantially reducing CO2 emissions while also enabling faster throughput.”
Reducing natural gas usage at the DS Smith NAPP Columbia box plant will yield an estimated 740-ton decrease in annual CO2 emissions. Decarbonization at this scale is one of several initiatives in North America and Europe driven by DS Smith’s Now and Next sustainability strategy, which aims to reduce emissions by 46 percent in absolute terms by 2030, compared with 2019 levels, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The company, which is a member of the United Nations-led Race to Zero campaign1, also participates in the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)2 and has set a 1.5°C target in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The new installation at the Columbia box plant includes Baviera Steam Systems’ Condensate Recovery Unit along with Digital Steam Pumps from Baviera capable of managing the pressure required for corrugation using lightweight and heavyweight papers. Continuous heat transfer control solutions installed with the steam system help to ensure greater consistency, improving control room management and eliminating the need for operator tweaks that can impact long-term performance.
The new technologies also help reduce downtime needed to adjust steam pressure when changing paper weights or fluting settings, boosting overall volume capacity at the plant by up to 5 percent. Faster changes between board grades will also reduce manufacturing waste.
DS Smith has helped its customers replace 762 million problem plastics with fiber-based alternatives since 2020, with a goal to reach 1 billion plastics replaced by 2025