Mills River Becomes NC’s First Major Factory To Be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy


UPM Raflatac, a manufacturer of pressure sensitive label materials, just announced that its factory in Mills River is now the first major manufacturing facility in North Carolina whose electrical supply is generated entirely by renewable sources.

This year, the Mills River factory opted to increase its renewable electricity use from 4 percent to 100 percent. Renewable electricity is generated from sources like wind, solar and hydropower. UPM Raflatac has a 2030 target to reduce fossil CO2 emissions from its operations and purchased electricity by 30 percent. The switch to 100 percent renewable electricity for the Mills River facility is a major step toward meeting that target.

The use of renewable electricity is a key component of UPM Raflatac’s Biofore Site™ program, which aims to improve the sustainability performance of the company’s manufacturing sites. The program includes a Biofore Site scorecard with approximately 30 sustainability measures, including energy use, aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the framework that governments, business and civil society use to drive the sustainability agenda. The Biofore Site scorecard is also a tool to make the company’s sustainability performance more tangible and transparent for its employees and others.

“We are proud to be North Carolina’s first manufacturing facility to boast 100 percent renewable electricity use,” says Ari Salminen, the General Manager of UPM Raflatac’s Mills River factory. “It is just one way we are labeling a smarter future beyond fossils and leading the way for positive change in our state.”