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US paper and wood products manufacturers strive to build on industry sustainability progress

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US paper and wood products manufacturers strive to build on industry sustainability progress

February 02, 2017 - 13:12
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WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 2, 2017 (Press Release) -Underscoring the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry’s commitment to sustainability, the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today announced a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal of 20 percent by the year 2020 under its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative.

The Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability project includes one of the most extensive sets of sustainability goals established for a U.S. manufacturing industry. In its 2016 Sustainability Report, AF&PA announced that GHG emissions from member facilities were reduced by 16 percent, surpassing the 15 percent reduction goal ahead of schedule. For a detailed view of the industry’s measurable sustainability progress, visit

“When it comes to advancing sustainability performance, our member companies continue to lead the way,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “In 2014, their dedication resulted in measurable progress that our industry plans to build on in the coming years. Along that road, we will back public policies that support their ability to produce essential everyday products, while ensuring the renewable resources used to make them are readily available to future generations.”

AF&PA launched Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 in March 2011 with a suite of sustainability goals for improvement from a baseline of 2005: increase energy efficiency by at least 10 percent, reduce GHG emissions by at least 15 percent, promote sustainable forestry, improve workplace incidence rate by 25 percent (baseline 2006) and reduce water use by 12 percent, while also committing to exceed a 70 percent rate of paper recovery for recycling. The target year to reach these goals is 2020. Having met the greenhouse gas goal early, AF&PA members set a new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 to 2020.