Representatives from Domtar and Keep Kingsport Beautiful announced the contribution at a dedication ceremony Thursday morning at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.
“As we celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2016, it is important for Domtar’s Kingsport mill to honor and support the community that has contributed to our success,” says Bill MacPherson, Kingsport mill manager. “Our longstanding support of Keep Kingsport Beautiful has been a natural outgrowth of our shared interest in the environment. It is our hope that when people travel along Fort Henry Drive, lined with these majestic and thriving trees, they will see them as a reflection of the vibrant community that makes up the city of Kingsport.”
Throughout 2016, the Kingsport mill is commemorating its milestone anniversary with local activities and events that reinforce the operation’s longstanding dedication to the Kingsport community.
Over the years, the mill has been diligent in fostering a culture that supports and promotes the importance of giving back to the local community. The Kingsport mill was a key proponent of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Kingsport Higher Education Center. In addition, the mill has contributed more than $5 million to the community in the form of land, financial donations and labor for numerous recreational and social efforts.
“We are honored to celebrate 100 years with a company that has a longstanding tradition of giving back to its community,” states Kingsport Mayor John Clark. “Thank you, Domtar, for making Kingsport a greener place to live now and for the next 100 years.”
Thursday’s tree donation is one of several activities in which the Kingsport mill has been engaged this week, also known as Earth Week, a time dedicated to increasing environmental awareness. On April 16, more than 50 mill employees participated in Keep Kingsport Beautiful’s Clean Sweep Kingsport. The group was responsible for areas adjacent to the mill, including about a half-mile section of The Greenbelt.
“Keep Kingsport Beautiful has enjoyed a long partnership with Domtar, which has been an active sponsor of Arbor Day and the Notable Trees of Kingsport for many years,” says Robin Cleary, director of Keep Kingsport Beautiful. “We are thrilled to be able to participate in the Kingsport mill’s centennial celebration, and we are excited to see how these trees will help transform Fort Henry Drive.”
Domtar’s Kingsport operation began in 1916, when local businessmen constructed the mill, known as the Kingsport Pulp Co., to process fiber from a wood alcohol extract operation. Although the mill changed hands multiple times over the years, each of its owners made continuous investments in the facility and its operations.
In 1972, under the Mead Corporation name, the Kingsport plant operated five paper machines, one of which was considered the fastest in the world. After being acquired by Willamette Industries, the mill underwent an upgrade in 2000 to make it more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. In 2002, new owner Weyerhaeuser invested $475 million to install a new uncoated free-sheet machine, recovery boiler, and bleached hardwood pulp line ― essentially rebuilding the mill, and making it the newest and most modern paper facility in North America.
In 2007, Domtar took over the Weyerhaeuser Fine Paper group. Today, the plant has the capacity to produce nearly 420,000 tons of paper and more than 300,000 tons of pulp annually. The Kingsport mill has an estimated regional economic impact of $190 million per year.
Domtar is a leading provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products, including communication, specialty and packaging papers, market pulp and absorbent hygiene products. With approximately 9,800 employees serving more than 50 countries around the world, Domtar is driven by a commitment to turn sustainable wood fiber into useful products that people rely on every day. Domtar’s annual sales are approximately $5.6 billion and its common stock is traded on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Domtar’s principal executive office is in Fort Mill, South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.domtar.com.
For more information, contact Roger Smith,
director of public affairs and manufacturing support at Domtar’s Kingsport mill,