Large companies like Walmart can truly move the needle when they declare sustainability. But even more impactful changes can be made when an entire industry declares sustainability. Today, the American Forest and Paper Association (AF & PA) declared the following sustainability goals in their Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 plan:
1. Increase the paper recovery for recycling rate to exceed 70% by 2020;
2. Improve our industry’s energy efficiency in purchased energy use by at least 10% by 2020;
3. Reduce the intensity of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15% by 2020;
4. A vision for the industry of zero injuries, and progressing toward that vision by further improving our safety incidence rate by 25% by 2020; and
5. Increase the amount of fiber procured from certified forest lands or through certified fiber sourcing programs in the U.S. by 2020, and work with governments, industry and other stakeholders to promote policies around the globe to reduce illegal logging
AF&PA is national trade association for companies that produce paper, paper based packaging and wood products. Members include Georgia-Pacific and Boise. Over 75% of industry players are association members. In this interview, Donna Harman, the CEO of AF&PA explained their role and the process for creating these sustainability goals.
AF&PA has a history of sustainability thinking. All members, as a requirement of membership, must source from sustainably managed forest and many members have certifications from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the Forest Stewardship Council.
Today’s goals were established through a stakeholder process that consisted of customers, public policy makers, and environmental NGOs. All new metrics are quantifiable and traceable, and AF&PA will produce a sustainability report every other year to track industry progress. Forests are an important part of nature’s services, and AF&PA is doing their part to create a more sustainable paper and forestry supply chain.
Connie Kwan is a GreenTech Marketing professional based in Silicon Valley, CA. She is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied. Follow her on Twitter @ConnieMKwan.