AF&PA Members Achieve Important Goals to Improve Sustainability

Jul 24, 2018

Harman_Donna-WebBy Donna Harman
President & CEO

Paper and wood products manufacturers have achieved two of the industry’s sustainability goals ahead of schedule and are making progress on several others. Our members attained the worker safety and energy efficiency goals several years before the 2020 deadline. They also nearly reached the newly established greenhouse gas reduction goal. This progress is showcased in AF&PA’s 2018 Sustainability Report, released today.

In 2011, our members pledged to improve the sustainability of their practices through the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative, which contains the most extensive collection of quantifiable sustainability goals for a major U.S. manufacturing industry. The industry’s six goals—to be reached by year 2020—aim to improve energy efficiency, increase paper recovery for recycling, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve worker safety, promote sustainable forestry, and reduce water use.

Over the coming weeks, look for blog posts on each of the six goals, highlighting the accomplishments to date.

The Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative is greater than the six goals alone. With our members, government agencies, communities, and other stakeholders, AF&PA employs advanced practices that benefit the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social.

The economic health of the industry is vital to its existence and future. Therefore, market forces should be the primary drivers of sustainability initiatives. We advocate for government policies and regulations that enable our industry to remain active and competitive.

The industry’s environmental stewardship stems from its dependence on natural resources to make products. Our members practice responsible use of natural resources to ensure they are plentiful in the future.

Our members’ social engagement extends beyond the workplace. In many areas where the industry operates, companies have provided jobs for generations and execute programs to promote the well-being of their employees and their families as well as the wider local community.

We are proud to represent companies that make essential products that people use every day. Together with our members, AF&PA remains committed to sustainability and to advancing our industry’s performance on some of the most pressing sustainability issues of our time.

To download our 2018 Sustainability Report, view a video of highlights, and get more details on the industry’s sustainability progress, visit