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AF&PA: 2012 sustainability report shows progress in Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative

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AF&PA: 2012 sustainability report shows progress in Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative

July 25, 2012 - 10:07
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WASHINGTON DC, July 25, 2012 (PRNewswire) -

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released the results of its biennial Sustainability Report, which showed that the U.S. paper, pulp and wood products industry has made significant, measurable progress toward achieving the goals of itsBetter Practices, Better Planet 2020sustainability initiative.

"Our member companies responded in force to the challenge of improving upon our proven record of sustainability leadership," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "Thanks to the efforts of our members, we have made substantial progress toward achieving our goals and have significantly raised the bar for defining sustainable manufacturing."

Better Practices, Better Planet 2020symbolizes the industry's commitment to sustainability and is one of the most extensive collections of quantifiable sustainability goals for a major U.S. manufacturing industry. Enhancing this already aggressive collection of goals, AF&PA is establishing a goal to decrease the amount of water used in pulp and paper mills by 12 percent from 2005 to 2020 by measuring the water discharge.

"We have earned a reputation for being a sustainable industry, and the progress we share today demonstrates our continued commitment to sustainable business practices, which in turn makes for a better planet," said AF&PA Board Chairman Alexander Toeldte, president and CEO of Boise, Inc.

The progress made toward reaching each goal is reported in the 2012 AF&PA Sustainability Report, which includes:

  • Increased paper recovery to 66.8 percent in 2011, nearly doubling our rate of paper recovery since 1990.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 10.5 percent since 2005.
  • Reduced Occupational Safety & Health Administration case incident rates by 24 percent since 2006.
  • Improved energy efficiency in purchased energy use by 8.1 percent since 2005, adding to the fact that nearly two-thirds of the energy used in our manufacturing facilities is produced through carbon-neutral biomass.
  • Increased fiber procured from certified forestlands by 24 percent and increased fiber procured through certified fiber sourcing programs to 96 percent from 87 percent in 2005. AF&PA members also continued to work with governments and stakeholders on effective policies to combat illegal logging.
  • Reduced water used at member pulp and paper mills by 6 percent since 2005. AF&PA members have established a new goal to reduce water consumed in member pulp and paper mills by 12 percent by 2020.

The American Forest & Paper Association is the national trade association of the forest products industry, representing pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers, and forest landowners. Our companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources that sustain the environment. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $190 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states.