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Resolute, Domtar among AF&PA 2019 Sustainability Awards winners

November 13, 2019  By P&PC Staff

AF&PA 2019 Sustainability Awards winnersBack row, L-R: Seth Kursman (Resolute Forest Products), AF&PA Board Chair Pete Watson, AF&PA President & CEO Heidi Brock, Steve Voorhees (WestRock), Pat Lindner (WestRock), Louis Hengen (WestRock). Front row, L-R: Ryan Lichwell (Seaman Paper Company), Bryan Hollenbach (Green Bay Packaging), Lisa Bauer-Lotto (Green Bay Packaging), William Kress (Green Bay Packaging), Tom Howard (Domtar).

Resolute Forest Products and Domtar were among the winners of the 2019 Sustainability Awards presented by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) last week.

Five AF&PA member companies received six awards at the event, held Nov. 8 in Bluffton, South Carolina.

“The winning projects further our industry’s sustainability record and contribute toward achieving the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goals,” says Heidi Brock, AF&PA president and CEO. “We are proud to recognize these outstanding examples of sustainability leadership.”


AF&PA’s annual awards are designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry and are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories.

Projects that support progress toward the organization’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals qualify for recognition in the “Leadership” category, which has five subcategories that correspond to the goals: Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Paper Recovery for Recycling, Safety, Sustainable Forest Management and Water. The “Innovation in Sustainability” award is reserved for projects that merit recognition for their contribution to sustainable business practices, not one of the goals specifically.

Resolute reduces GHG emissions

Resolute won the 2019 Leadership in Sustainability Award for Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction for its “Concrete Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions” project. This is the third consecutive year AF&PA has honoured Resolute for its sustainability advancements.

“Sharing AF&PA’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goal to reduce GHG emissions, Resolute steadily decreased its environmental footprint by making major investments,” says Brock.

Resolute reduced GHG emissions at its pulp, paper, tissue and wood products facilities across the United States and Canada by improving the energy efficiency of its operations, producing renewable energy, managing water efficiently, and reducing waste and reliance on fossil fuels. These actions have allowed the company to reduce absolute GHG emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 81 per cent relative to 2000 levels.

“I would like to thank AF&PA for honouring our achievements in the areas of climate and energy,” says Yves Laflamme, Resolute president and CEO. “We know that our long-term profitability depends on preserving the natural resources in our care and being a responsible partner in the communities where we live and work. Striving to minimize our environmental impact is quite simply the right thing to do.”

Domtar brings certified fibre to landowners

Domtar won the 2019 AF&PA Leadership in Sustainability Award for Sustainable Forest Management for its “Promoting Sustainable Forest Management for Landowners” project. It’s the second year in a row that AF&PA has honoured Domtar for its work in sustainability.

“By bridging the gap between customer demand for certified fibre and limited forest certification in the U.S. South, Domtar is demonstrating leadership and resolve,” says Brock.

Through their project, Domtar addresses certification challenges for small landowners in their southern U.S. wood procurement region, ensuring a greater supply of certified fibre to their pulp and paper mills to meet growing customer demand. As a founder and supporter of the Appalachian Woodlands Alliance, the company engages hundreds of small landowners in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia in responsible management of their woodlands. Domtar also helped 220 landowners across Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas achieve certification for 628,000 acres of woodland through the Four States Timberland Owners Association.

“We are proud to invest in certification programs and associations to help landowners and meet the needs of our customers,” says John Williams, Domtar president and CEO. “Thank you to AF&PA for recognizing our efforts to increase and improve responsible fibre sourcing.”

The full list of 2019 AF&PA Sustainability Award winners is as follows:

  • Leadership in Sustainability – Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Large Company)
    Resolute Forest Products: Concrete Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Leadership in Sustainability – Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Small Company)
    Seaman Paper Company of Massachusetts, Inc.: Let There Be (LED) Light
  • Leadership in Sustainability – Safety
    WestRock: Hopewell Recovery Boiler Life Changing Event Elimination Project
  • Leadership in Sustainability – Sustainable Forest Management
    Domtar: Promoting Sustainable Forest Management for Landowners
  • Leadership in Sustainability – Water
    Green Bay Packaging: Water Reduction Achievements at Green Bay Mill
  • Innovation in Sustainability
    WestRock: EnShield Natural Kraft

The 2019 AF&PA Sustainability Award winners were selected by a judging panel of sustainability experts from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University, GreenBlue, Quad Packaging, Two Sides, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

AF&PA’s 2018 Sustainability Report showed that the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry has made significant, measurable progress toward achieving its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals.

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