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Sustainability Goals

AF&PA has established five quantifiable sustainability goals that the industry aims to meet by 2030. Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 is a voluntary industry initiative that builds on decades of success to advance sustainable products for a sustainable future.

Dive Into Our Goals

Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Achievements Summary

AF&PA released its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Achievements Summary Report, which highlights how our members  met or surpassed most of the sustainability goals we set to achieve by 2020.

Worker Safety

Worker Safety

Safety excellence is a top priority for AF&PA and our member companies. “Goal Zero” is more than a target – it’s a mindset. In 2020, member company recordable incidence rate was 30% lower than the 2006 baseline. 
 

GHG Reduction

GHG Reduction

The paper and wood products industry was among the first to take voluntary action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2020, AF&PA members surpassed their goal, reducing GHG emissions by 24.1% from the 2005 baseline. 

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Increasing energy efficiency is a fundamental energy management objective of AF&PA members. In 2020, member purchased energy use per ton of product was 13.3% lower than the 2005 baseline.

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Forestry

AF&PA members adhere to sustainable fiber procurement principles. In 2020, members procured 99.2% of the total wood fiber from forests, used for product, through a certified fiber sourcing program.

Water Stewardship

Water Stewardship

Water is an essential part of the pulp and papermaking process. Therefore, water stewardship is critical. In 2020, AF&PA member pulp and paper mills decreased water use (per ton of product) by 8.3%, from the 2005 baseline.

Paper Recycling

Paper Recycling

The paper industry has been striving to increase paper recycling since the 1990s. Every year since 2009, the recycling rate has met or exceeded 63%. In 2021, we recovered more than 50 million tons of paper for recycling and the paper recycling rate was 68%. 

Advancing DE&I in the Paper and Wood Products Industry

Our strength as an industry stems from the diversity of our people. Along with our Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 sustainability goals, AF&PA released a statement of principles on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). This commitment advances DE&I in the paper and wood products industry and is critical to our success on key initiatives such as sustainability.

The THREE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY

Our members recognize the three essential pillars of sustainability — economic, environmental and social — interdependent factors that collectively support long-term viability, growth and improvement. AF&PA members subscribe to the sustainability concepts recognized by a number of international forums, including the United Nations.

Economic Impact

Economic Impact

The economic health of the U.S. paper and wood products manufacturing industry is vital to sustainable future.

Environmental

Environmental

Sustainable practices define the paper and wood products industry's dedication to protecting our environment while also meeting economic and social commitments. 

Social

Social

People are at the heart of the paper and wood products industry. The health and safety workers is a top priority for our industry.

Sustainability Awards

AF&PA's annual awards recognize outstanding sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products industry. The awards are given based on the merit of entries across many categories.