Monadnock Paper Mills: Pioneers in Sustainable Paper Production


Monadnock Paper Mills

From its humble beginnings in 1819, Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. has emerged as a trailblazer in the paper manufacturing industry. Situated in Bennington, NH, Monadnock is proud to be the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States. With a steadfast commitment to environmentally responsible practices, the mill collaborates with renowned brands to produce customized performance papers for commercial printing, packaging, and technical applications. As one of the largest employers in the region, employing nearly 200 individuals, Monadnock’s contributions extend beyond paper production.

Upholding Environmental Stewardship

Monadnock Paper Mills sets the gold standard for responsible environmental stewardship. As a Forest Stewardship Council-certified company, Monadnock ensures the sustainable and ethical utilization of forest resources. Additionally, all their papers are manufactured using 100 percent renewable electricity, enabling them to maintain a carbon-neutral production process.

Leading the Charge in Energy Efficiency

Undoubtedly, Monadnock’s dedication to the environment extends to their energy efficiency practices. For over four decades, the company has spearheaded energy efficiency initiatives, demonstrating their unwavering commitment. Eversource, a strategic partner for the past 15 years, has played a pivotal role in supporting Monadnock with 22 energy efficiency projects. These collaborative efforts have yielded remarkable outcomes, including the installation of efficient motors, LED lighting, HVAC upgrades, and improvements to production line equipment and compressed air systems. The specific energy-saving initiatives encompass:

  • Implementation of LED lighting throughout the production facility, including the iconic neon Monadnock sign.
  • Replacement of three surface aerators in the waste water lagoon system with high-efficiency systems.
  • Elimination of two load levelers in the treatment plant.
  • Substitution of eight rooftop air conditioners with high-efficiency models.
  • Enhancement of energy efficiency in the paper machines through the incorporation of an upgraded Honeywell temperature controller and insulated high-temperature condensate return lines.
  • Installation of a “low-fire” boiler fuel gun and controls to operate coating equipment during “non-heating” seasons, reducing fuel consumption and thermal energy generation emissions.

These initiatives have resulted in remarkable savings of nearly 1.6 million kWh and over $191,000 annually.

Monadnock Energy Efficiency Projects

Striving for Water Conservation

Monadnock Paper Mills also takes immense pride in its accomplishments in water conservation. Previously consuming 1.2 million gallons per day, the company has successfully halved its water usage while maintaining the same paper production output. Through rigorous filtration processes, the water discharged by the mill into the Contoocook River is cleaner than the river water itself.

Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill: A Promising Goal

This year, Monadnock’s focus centers on eliminating solid waste sent to landfills. With the aim of mapping the waste stream and assessing the feasibility of zero manufacturing waste to landfill, the company is dedicated to achieving this ambitious objective. Furthermore, Monadnock boasts an active employee Green Team that continuously identifies environmental impact reduction opportunities. Their efforts propagate transparency and awareness throughout the organization at every level, ensuring collective engagement in sustainable practices.

Sharing the Path to Sustainability

Monadnock Paper Mills takes pride in their energy efficiency accomplishments, actively playing a pivotal role in assisting other businesses on their journey towards greater energy efficiency. The company hosts periodic Sustainability Fairs, attracting numerous enterprises that strive to “do well by doing good.” These fairs offer an opportunity for employees and local residents to explore sustainable solutions such as composting, alternative energy, ride-sharing, and locally-made products. Monadnock also actively participates in and supports organizations such as NH Businesses for Social Responsibility, thereby sharing their practices and successes with a wider audience.

A Testament to Sustainable Success

For Richard Verney, Chairman and CEO of Monadnock Paper Mills, environmental and community stewardship serve as essential pillars of the company’s triumphs. Sustainability is not only a sound business strategy but also a personal conviction for Verney. The sight of steam rising from the mill, visible from his own backyard, fuels his dedication towards maintaining a clean environment and supporting the local community. Verney fervently believes in the responsibility of being the major employer in the area.

By seamlessly integrating energy efficiency into their culture and business operations, along with their commitment to producing environmentally friendly paper products, Monadnock Paper Mills continues to thrive in an era where many other paper mills have succumbed. Ever ready to embrace innovation, Monadnock eagerly turns the page, discovering new ways to weave efficiency into their ongoing success story.

To learn more about Monadnock Paper Mills, visit Quill And Fox.