Advocating for our Industry in the International Arena

Jul 05, 2016
Harman_Donna-WebBy Donna Harman
President & CEO

Many issues in AF&PA’s portfolio have an international component and we work to ensure our positions are heard globally. This week, I am travelling to Sydney, Australia to participate in the annual meeting of the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA).

AF&PA is a founding member of the ICFPA, which was established in 2002 and serves as a forum of global dialogue among national and region industry associations to cooperate in the development of common positions on issues of mutual interest; represent the forest and paper industry with global policy organizations; and coordinate action and distribute information through its member associations. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and more than half of global wood production.

Despite operating within different political and regulatory realms, ICFPA member associations share core values as shown by the ICFPA policy statements. These statements focus on topics like paper recycling, sustainable forest management certification, illegal logging, and the carbon neutrality of biomass.

Every other year, the ICFPA publishes a sustainability progress report to highlight members’ activities, performance and progress related to the six commitments outlined in the 2006 CEO Leadership Statement on Sustainability: creating solutions to global climate change and energy supply challenges; promoting sustainable forest management worldwide; combating illegal logging; recovering and recycling fiber; improving environmental management; and investing in workers and communities. The ICFPA showcased the global forest products industry’s sustainability commitments and progress at an event during last December’s COP21 Climate Conference in Paris.

Through their involvement in the ICFPA, members are able to learn about and share best practices and tools. For example, there is now an Australian version of our carbon neutrality of biomass video and a South African one of our improving paper recycling video, and our poster on paper shredding was adapted for European audiences.

I look forward to meeting with my international colleagues in the land Down Under and working with them to continue to advocate for our industry around the world.