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American forest & paper association announces continuing commitment to sustainability through better practices, better planet 2020


The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced today Better Practices, Better Planet 2020, the most extensive and quantifiable set of sustainability goals for any major manufacturing industry in the U.S. Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 is a set of five specific, challenging sustainability goals for the forest products industry. These goals are designed to build on the industry's record of sustainability leadership, and include a transparent reporting process for holding the industry accountable for achieving them.

'Our industry has long been a good steward of our planet's resources and a leader in sustainable practices that create value in society and for our companies, but we believe it is important to push ourselves to do even better,' said Jim Hannan, AF&PA Chairman of the Board, and CEO and President of Georgia-Pacific LLC. 'The goals of Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 will provide a road map for even greater leadership by our industry toward successful sustainability practices that can provide economic, environmental and social benefits for our customers, our companies, our employees and the communities in which we live.'

Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 includes the following sustainability goals:

  • Increase the paper recovery for recycling rate to exceed 70% by 2020;
  • Improve our industry's energy efficiency in purchased energy use by at least 10% by 2020;
  • Reduce the intensity of the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15% by 2020;
  • A vision for the industry of zero injuries, and progressing toward that vision by further improving our safety incidence rate by 25% by 2020; and
  • Increase the amount of fiber procured from certified forest lands or through certified fiber sourcing programs in the U.S. by 2020, and work with governments, industry and other stakeholders to promote policies around the globe to reduce illegal logging.

In addition to this defined set of goals, we are committing to explore opportunities to reduce the water consumed in our processes, and determine whether or not to set a consumptive use goal in the future, which would require information in addition to the discharge data we currently collect. In the interim, we will continue to report on the volume of water discharged through a biennial Sustainability Report.

'Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 continues the commitment the forest product industry has shown for decades,' said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. 'By challenging ourselves across the different categories, we are reinforcing our leadership as THE sustainable industry. Our actions to better our sustainable practices will pay dividends for our businesses, our workers and the communities in which we operate for generations to come.'

AF&PA and its member companies will be accountable for achieving these goals by transparently reporting the industry's progress through an annual report on paper recovery and a biennial Sustainability Report. For more information about AF&PA's sustainability leadership, including the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 effort, go to www.afandpa.org/sustainability.

The American Forest & Paper Association is the national trade association of the forest products industry, representing pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers, and forest landowners. Our companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources that sustain the environment. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $175 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org.

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