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U.S. Paper and Wood Products Manufacturers Report Sustainability Progress

by AFPA Communications | Jul 24, 2018
Contact: Katharine Eaton
(202) 463-2436,

Two of six sustainability goals achieved ahead of 2020 deadline

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released its 2018 Sustainability Report, which highlights the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry’s contributions to sustainability across the value chain, including members’ progress toward achieving the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals.

The full sustainability report, a video of highlights and other information are available at

“We are pleased to represent companies that advance economic, environmental and social values,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “Their commitment led them to achieve the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goals to improve energy efficiency and worker safety ahead of schedule.”

“On behalf of all AF&PA members, I am proud of the progress we’ve made together,” said John Rooney, CEO of GEC Packaging Technologies and chairman of the AF&PA Board of Directors. “We are committed to continuing our industry’s sustainability leadership while making essential products for everyday life.”

2018 AF&PA Sustainability Report highlights:

  • AF&PA member purchased energy per ton of production was reduced by 11.6 percent—surpassing the goal of at least 10 percent improvement in purchased energy efficiency ahead of the 2020 deadline.
  • Members’ safety incidence rate is 36.3 percent better than the 2006 baseline. While members have surpassed the 25 percent improvement goal, they are continuing to work on the aspirational goal of zero workplace injuries.
  • Members reduced greenhouse gas emissions from their facilities by 19.9 percent, nearly reaching their goal to achieve a 20 percent reduction in emissions.
  • Member facilities are often located in rural communities where they frequently serve as the largest employer. More than 75 percent of all U.S. pulp and paper mills are in counties that are more than 80 percent rural.
  • Most AF&PA members have programs in place to support their employees’ continuing education and career development efforts and offer internships and apprenticeships to attract a new generation of workers to the industry.

For more information about AF&PA, visit


The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs more than 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.  


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