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U.S. Paper and Wood Products Manufacturers Show Measurable Sustainability Progress

Jul 12, 2016
Early achievement reached for two of six sustainability goals
CONTACT: Katharine Eaton
(202) 463-2436,

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released its 2016 Sustainability Report, showcasing the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry’s commitment to sustainability across the value chain, including progress toward achieving the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals.

For a detailed overview of the industry’s progress, including the full report, a video of highlights and other materials, visit

“We are proud to represent companies that are committed to advancing their sustainability performance,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “Their efforts led to the early achievement of the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goals to improve safety and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Sustainable manufacturing processes enable our industry to produce essential products that are widely used every day, while ensuring that the renewable resources used to make them will be plentiful for future generations,” added Mark Kowlzan, chairman and CEO of Packaging Corporation of American and chairman of the AF&PA Board of Directors.

2016 AF&PA Sustainability Report highlights:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from AF&PA member facilities were reduced by 16 percent, surpassing the 15 percent reduction goal ahead of schedule.
  • The safety incidence rate was improved by 40.8 percent, surpassing the 25 percent improvement goal. The industry’s vision remains one of zero workplace injuries.
  • Over 63 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. has been recovered for recycling for each of the past seven years, reaching a record 66.8 percent in 2015.
  • Pulp and paper mills self-generate, on average, about two-thirds of their energy needs from biomass and renewable fuels.
  • The paper and wood products manufacturing industry uses combined heat and power technology to generate 97.6 percent of the electricity it produces on site.
  • Water used by mills for production of paper and wood products is reused ten times, on average.

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 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 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 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.