Celebrating our Sustainability Performance

Jul 12, 2016
Harman_Donna-WebBy Donna Harman
President & CEO

On behalf of AF&PA and our members, I am proud to present our 2016 Sustainability Report, showcasing our industry’s sustainability performance. This report marks the halfway point in our ten-year journey to reach our Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goals.


Progress on our Goals

In 2015, the paper recovery rate for paper consumed in the U.S. reached a record 66.8 percent. Our goal is to exceed 70 percent recovery for recycling. The U.S. paper recovery rate has nearly doubled since 1990 due to voluntary industry efforts and the millions of Americans who recycle every day.

Members have improved their purchased energy use per ton of production by 8.1 percent in 2014 compared to the 2005 baseline year, nearing our goal of at least a 10 percent improvement. Member pulp and paper mills produce carbon-neutral, renewable biomass energy on-site that, on average, provides about two-thirds of their energy needs.

In 2014, member greenhouse gas emissions were 16 percent lower than in the 2005 baseline year, surpassing our 15 percent reduction goal. Improved energy efficiency and the use of lower carbon-emitting fuels and carbon-neutral biomass enabled the industry to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, reaching this goal ahead of schedule.

In 2014, AF&PA members increased the amount of fiber they procure from certified forestlands to 29 percent, and fiber procured through certified fiber sourcing programs to 98 percent compared to the 2005 baseline year. AF&PA supports and promotes efforts to reduce illegal logging around the world, and supports public policies to ensure that fiber from illegally-logged sources does not enter the marketplace.

The 2014 member company recordable case incidence rate was 40.8 percent lower than in 2006. Although we have met our goal to reduce reportable incidents by 25 percent, we continue to look for new ways to achieve our vision of zero workplace injuries.

Member mills have lowered their water use by 6.5 percent since 2005. AF&PA members have taken important steps to improve and preserve water resources, with the goal of reducing water use by 12 percent.

We invite you to join us in celebrating our industry’s sustainability progress! Please visit our new website featuring the full report, a video of highlights and other resources: http://sustainability.afandpa.org.