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AF&PA releases U.S. industry sustainability goals for 2030


June 16, 2021
By P&PC Staff

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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has released its sustainability goals for the next decade in paper and wood products.

The Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future document aims to improve the U.S. sustainability record achieved over the last decade and includes a transparent reporting process for achieving each goal.

The five sustainability goals for 2030 and some of the steps for action include:

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  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:
    • Reduce total Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity 50 per cent by 2030 from 2005 baseline
    • Develop a goal by 2025 for relevant Scope 3 emissions
  • Advancing a circular value chain through the production of renewable and recyclable products
    • Boost use of recycled fibre and wood residuals across industry to 50 peer cent
    • Increase AF&PA’s use of recyclable and compostable materials
  • Striving for zero workplace injuries, as well as reducing serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs)
    • Develop a program to prevent SIFs at member mills
  • Driving water stewardship throughout manufacturing operations
    • By end of 2021, determine tools to help with water stewardship best practices
    • Deploy tools by 2022-2023
    • Increase member use of tools through 2030
  • Building more resilient U.S. forests through:
    • Conservation programs
    • Research and education
    • Promotion of sustainable forest management
    • Boosting supply chain transparency

To date, AF&PA members have met or exceeded many of the sustainability goals outlined in Better Practices, Better Planet 2020, launched in 2011. Those achievements include a 23.2 per cent reduction in GHG emissions; 13.3 per cent improvement in energy efficiency; 38.4 per cent reduction in workplace injuries; and a 12 percentage point increase in wood fibre procurement from certified forestlands. The final Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 report will be released this fall.

“We have been and will continue to be a leader in sustainability,” says Heidi Brock, AF&PA president and CEO. “The paper and wood products industry was one of the first U.S. manufacturing industries to adopt quantifiable sustainability goals back in 2011, and today these new ambitious goals will build upon that success in the decade ahead.”

Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 also includes principles on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), with the goal of advancing DE&I in the paper and wood products industry and facilitating an exchange of members’ ideas and information.

Among the AF&PA’s goals are to investigate programs and partnerships to boost awareness of opportunities in the industry, engaging in community efforts dedicated to equity and inclusion, and promoting supplier diversity.