AF&PA announces new awards program to recognize best sustainability practices; program will feature two categories, Leadership and Innovation, with six subcategories corresponding to sustainability 2020 initiatives

WASHINGTON , February 14, 2012 (press release) – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today announced a new awards program to recognize company projects and programs that meet industry “best of” criteria for excellence in sustainability.

“These awards will serve to highlight the ‘best of the best’ among our members’ own sustainability programs and those which we promote,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “Building on our successful recycling awards, the newly updated Leadership in Sustainability and Innovation awards will bring the efforts of our companies into the fold to give greater awareness to their achievements and progress toward better business practices and bettering our planet.”

The awards program is complementary to AF&PA’s sustainability initiative – Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 (BPBP2020) – and will feature two categories: Leadership in Sustainability and Innovation in Sustainability. Six subcategories will be recognized for Leadership in Sustainability, each one corresponding to a goal within the BPBP2020 initiative. Goals to be achieved by 2020, include:

  • increasing the paper recovery for recycling rate to exceed 70 percent;
  • improving the industry’s energy efficiency in purchased energy use by at least 10 percent;
  • reducing the intensity of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15 percent;
  • increasing certified fiber procurement in the U.S. and working with stakeholders to promote policies around the globe to reduce illegal logging;
  • striving to become the industry of zero injuries and further improving the industry’s safety incidence rate by 25 percent; and
  • exploring opportunities to reduce the water consumed in pulp and paper manufacturing processes and determine whether to set a consumptive use goal in the future.
The Leadership and Innovation in Sustainability awards will be awarded to those projects that merit achievement in a given category for that year. The period for AF&PA members to submit their award applications closes on Wednesday, April 11.

Rounding out the association’s sustainability awards program are the AF&PA Paper Recycling Awards, in which three programs are recognized each year for outstanding paper recycling programs in schools, businesses and communities across the country. This year’s winners will be announced at Paper2012 in New York City in March.

For more information about AF&PA’s commitment to sustainability, visit

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. Visit AF&PA online at

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