Designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives, awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories. RockTenn is being honored with the 2013 Leadership in Sustainability - Paper Recovery for Recycling Award for its "RockTenn and Customer Recycling and Waste Reduction Initiative" project.
"The RockTenn initiative promotes a sustainable business model for all company stakeholders, local communities and the paper industry," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "The financial and environmental benefits from this collaborative effort will reap benefits in 2013 and beyond."
RockTenn partnered with a customer to educate the company's team members about the existing recycling program so they would become more conscious of their disposal decisions and divert recyclables from the waste stream. The initiative resulted in 61.6 percent of the customer's waste stream being recycled in 2012; 80.2 percent of the total recycle stream was composed of cardboard and mixed paper.
"RockTenn has a long-standing legacy of recycling and using renewable resources to reduce our environmental impact," said Steve Voorhees, Chief Executive Officer of RockTenn. "We are delighted, along with AF&PA, to recognize the team of RockTenn co-workers who collaborated with their customer to achieve the environmental benefits of recycling a significantly greater the portion of their waste stream."
AF&PA releases its biennial Sustainability Report every other year, which in 2012 showed that the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturing industry has made significant, measurable progress toward achieving its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative. AF&PA will release its next report in mid-2014.
AF&PA member company applicants are considered annually in two categories -
"Innovation in Sustainability" and "Leadership in Sustainability" - with five "Leadership" subcategories: Paper Recovery for Recycling, Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Sustainable Forest Management, Safety, and Water. Projects that support progress toward the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals qualify for recognition in the "Leadership" category; projects that merit recognition for their contribution to sustainable business practices but that do not specifically address one of these goals may be recognized in the "Innovation" category.
For more information about the Sustainability Awards program and AF&PA's Better Practices initiative, visit www.afandpa.org/sustainability.