SUSTAINABILITY OF THE FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
(Senate - July 14, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 114 (Thursday, July 14, 2016)]
[Page S5146]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





             SUSTAINABILITY OF THE FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

  Mr. KING. Mr. President, today I wish to recognize the paper and 
forest products industry to support their advancement of six 
sustainability goals.
  There are about 18,000 hard-working men and women employed by the 
forest products industry in the State of Maine where we have about 40 
wood products and paper manufacturing facilities contributing over $900 
million to the economy through jobs and wages and over $4 billion in 
industry shipments of products, making the forest products industry one 
of the largest manufacturing sectors in our State.
  Sustainability is inherent to the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue, and 
wood products manufacturing industry. These products are made from 
renewable and recyclable resources, and these companies have a good 
track record of managing natural resources in order to ensure they can 
continue making useful products in the future.
  In 2011, the industry established the Better Practices, Better Planet 
2020 initiative pursuing one of the most extensive sets of 
sustainability goals established for a U.S. manufacturing industry.
  By 2020, the Better Practices, Better Planets goals aim to exceed 70 
percent paper recovery for recycling, improve purchased energy 
efficiency by at least 10 percent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 
member facilities by at least 15 percent, increase the amount of fiber 
procured from certified forestlands or through certified fiber sourcing 
programs in the U.S. from 2005 to 2020 and work to decrease illegal 
logging, improve worker safety by 25 percent, with a broader vision of 
zero industry injuries, and reduce water use in member facilities by 12 
percent
  This week the American Forest & Paper Association released their 2016 
report on the industry's performance. The industry works with 
government agencies, communities and other stakeholders to employ 
advanced sustainability practices benefitting the economy, environment 
and society and transparently reports on their performance. I am 
pleased to announce that the industry has met the greenhouse gas 
emissions and safety goals ahead of schedule.
  These companies are committed to sustainability along the entire 
value chain, starting with the renewable resources they acquire to make 
their products. AF&PA members procured 98 percent of their fiber 
through certified fiber sourcing programs and have also increased the 
amount of fiber procured from certified forestlands to 29 percent.
  Also, AF&PA companies are strong proponents of international efforts 
to suppress illegal logging and to reduce the demand for illegally 
harvested forest products.
  AF&PA's mandatory Environment, Health & Safety Principles require 
that members have health and safety policies in place. Implementing 
worker training, increased automation, and a host of injury preventive 
measures and safeguards allowed AF&PA members to reduce their incidence 
rate by 40.8 percent between 2006 and 2014. These companies are 
committed to continue to look for new ways to reach their aspirational 
goal of zero workplace injuries.
  The industry's purchased energy efficiency improved by 8.1 percent 
due to investments in energy efficiency projects. Many pulp and paper 
mills are largely energy self-sufficient, 56 percent of electricity 
needed to power manufacturing processes was self-generated, and, in 
some cases, supplying energy to the electric utility grid.
  Improved energy efficiency and the use of less carbon-intensive fuels 
and carbon-neutral biomass enabled the industry to significantly reduce 
its greenhouse gas emissions. These companies reduced their greenhouse 
gas emissions by 16 percent, surpassing the goal of 15-percent 
reduction.
  Water is a valuable natural resource and a vital component of the 
papermaking process. The forest products industry directly returns 
about 88 percent of the water it withdraws and uses in its 
manufacturing processes. Ongoing technology and innovation enable water 
to be reused and recycled 10 times, on average, throughout the pulp and 
paper mill process before it is treated in a wastewater system and 
returned to the environment. So far, water use at these pulp and paper 
mills was reduced by 6.5 percent since 2005.
  The industry's commitment to sustainability extends beyond the 
manufacturing process: More than 60 percent of paper consumed in the 
U.S. was recovered for recycling each year since 2009, reaching a 
record 66.8 percent in 2015.
  Paper recovery success is possible thanks to the millions of 
Americans who continue to recycle at home, work, and school every day. 
In 2014, 96 percent of the U.S. population had access to community 
curbside and/or drop-off paper recycling services. AF&PA works to 
promote paper recovery by creating materials to educate consumers about 
best recycling practices.
  I ask my colleagues to join us in congratulating this industry on 
taking steps to improve environmental performance, continue economic 
progress and support our communities. I am proud of this industry's 
progress and their continued commitment to advance sustainability 
performance.

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