Pratt Industries announced it would invest $400 million in a new 100% recycled paper mill in Henderson, Kentucky.

This represents the largest single investment by the company in its history and will create more than 320 full time jobs plus an additional 700 in the construction phase.

“It will be the world’s most advanced, environmentally-friendly 100% recycled paper mill,” said company owner and executive chairman Anthony Pratt. “And it means Pratt Industries will have built 6 of the last 8 paper mills in the United States.”

Construction on the 450,000 sq ft mill would begin next March with a startup date scheduled for Fall 2023.

In a separate project, the company also announced it would build a 700,000 sq ft corrugated box factory adjacent to the mill. Construction on that phase is slated to begin no later than 18 months after the mill is completed, and become operational in 2026.

“Our focus is all about the rebirth of the great American manufacturing capability, especially in regional America,” said Pratt.

“And this investment represents another example of our commitment to building America’s green infrastructure, including clean energy. This creates high-paying, highly-skilled green-collar jobs in communities like Henderson and Hebron where we already employ almost 200 Kentuckians at our corrugated display factory.”

“We see further investment potential in this dynamic state and Governor Beshear’s leadership has made Kentucky a great place to invest.”

“It’s because of Gov. Beshear’s leadership that we’re doubling down on our commitment to manufacturing in Kentucky. Through this $400m investment, the Governor is not only delivering for Kentuckians, but all Americans—Kentucky is Building Back Better.”

Gov Beshear said: “This is a significant investment in Kentucky and one that will make Pratt a major employer in Henderson County for years to come. Pratt is a company with a vision for the future, and I could not be more proud that future will include Kentucky. We’re not just rebuilding our economy in the commonwealth, but surging ahead to levels we have not seen before. This is happening because great companies like Pratt and strong leaders like Anthony Pratt can see where Kentucky is headed and know our skilled workforce is the partner they need to succeed.”

This latest initiative brings the company’s total cumulative investment value in the US to around $10 billion since Pratt founded it some 30 years ago.

It now has more than 10,000 full time employees and owns and operates more than 70 factories across the country, making it the largest Australian employer of Americans.

It is also the fastest growing company in the industry having gone from 46th largest to 5th in less than three decades.

The Henderson mill, which will be the most technologically advanced in the world, will produce more than 1500 tons of recycled paper every day, saving the equivalent of over 25,000 trees every 24 hours – that’s enough to cover two football fields every hour.

In fact, 20% of the mill’s output – or more than 100,000 tons – will come from recycling discarded paper and old corrugated boxes collected from Kentucky homes and businesses – so every day Kentuckians alone will be saving 5000 trees.

Moreover, every ton of recycled paper manufactured in Henderson will save more than:

  • 3 Cubic Yards of Landfill
  • 7000 Gallons of Water
  • 4000 kWhrs of Electricity
  • 1 Ton of CO2e

It will be designed to also use even less water, electricity and natural gas than its sister mills in Georgia, New York, Louisiana, Indiana and Ohio.

“Recycling is an important weapon against climate change because as things decay in the landfill, they emit methane gas, which is 20 times worse for the environment than CO2 emissions in causing the greenhouse effect,” said Pratt.

“In fact landfills emit more carbon than all of global aviation so recycling is an important weapon against climate change.”

The company’s sustainability efforts have been honored by environmental leaders such as former VP Al Gore, Ted Turner and The Climate Group.

Pratt is the only major 100% recycled paper company in the United States—selling 100% recycled packaging to many iconic American companies.

Unlike many other companies, Pratt believes in reinvesting its profits back into the business which has helped fuel its dramatic growth.

“As President Biden once noted, 90% of earnings in most public companies are spent on share buybacks and dividends,” said Pratt. “But we do the opposite – reinvesting all of our profits in new factories, new machinery, high-tech robotics and artificial intelligence and our people.”