AF&PA Announces 2023 Award-Winning Sustainability Projects

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8 Member Companies Recognized for Outstanding Initiatives in Sustainability, Innovation and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today announced its Better Practices, Better Planet 2030Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 Sustainability Award winners. The awards recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing.

“Our sustainability awards are outstanding examples of our goals in action,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “We received our highest number of sustainability awards applications to date. We are so pleased to present these awards and deeply value the innovative work being done across our industry to advance safety, sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Better Practices, Better Planet is one of the longest standing sustainability initiatives for a U.S. manufacturing industry. The program was established more than a decade ago.

The sustainability award winners demonstrate the industry’s long-held commitment to improving practices that advance sustainable products for a sustainable future. The 2023 Sustainability Award winners were selected by a judging panel with representatives from Clemson University, the Department of Energy, GreenBlue, the National Association of Manufacturers, Pure Strategies and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.


Leadership in Sustainability – Safety
Georgia-Pacific LLC: Save My Life Digital Work Process

Leadership in Sustainability – Circular Value Chain
Graphic Packaging International, LLC:  Boardio™ Fiber-based Bottle

Leadership in Sustainability – Water Management
Sappi North America: Cloquet Mill Effluent TSS Reduction Project

Leadership in Sustainability – Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Sonoco Products Company: Renewable Natural Gas Project

Leadership in Sustainability – Resilient U.S. Forests
International Paper: Promoting Forest Bird Awareness and Conservation 

Innovation in Sustainability
Seaman Paper: Vela Bags for Transport Packaging

Innovation in Sustainability
Ahlstrom:  PawPrint® Sustainable Pet Food Packaging

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Procter & Gamble Company: P&G Paper Equity and Inclusion

“We have an impressive range of projects and initiatives to highlight this year. Congratulations to all the winners,” said Brian McPheely, AF&PA Board Chair and Global CEO of Pratt Industries, Inc. “These awards demonstrate how our industry is making progress on our Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 goals. This year’s winners showcase the power of partnership, collaboration and innovation to advance a more sustainable future.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recyclable resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative —Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

Source: AF&PA