Sustainability Awards

Annually, AF&PA recognizes member companies for achievement in the various goal categories and presents an award for innovation. Member companies submit projects for consideration and the winners are selected by a third-party judging panel of sustainability experts from nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, government organizations, trade associations and other organizations. Award winners for 2018 and 2019 are featured throughout this report.

We are in the process of reviewing applications for the 2020 Sustainability Awards. Winners will be announced in November 2020. Applications for the 2021 awards will open in Spring of 2021. Please contact Jerry Schwartz if you would like more information about how to apply.

Sustainability Award Categories & Criteria

“Leaders in Sustainability” Awards
These awards recognize members that are working toward meeting the industry’s six Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Leaders in Sustainability goals through particular projects or programs.

  • Worker Safety: Recognizes a unique member program that advances the industry’s safety goal of zero workplace injuries with a special focus on projects that identify and reduce Serious Injuries and Fatalities (SIFs).
  • Certified Fiber: Recognizes a member program to increase significantly certified fiber procurement.
  • Illegal Logging: Recognizes a member program to reduce illegal logging around the globe.
  • Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction: Recognizes a member that has reduced significantly GHG emissions and increased purchased energy efficiency.
  • Water Use: Recognizes a project or program that reduces the amount of water used in production.
  • Paper Recovery for Recycling: Recognizes a member that has undertaken a project to promote recycling.

“Innovation in Sustainability” Award
AF&PA recognizes the scope of sustainability is broad and members develop innovative products, programs and projects that add to the industry’s sustainability advancements. To recognize efforts not captured within the industry’s established sustainability goals, we have created a separate “Innovation in Sustainability” award. For example, products can receive awards if they are the first of their kind and create an entirely new market or are manufactured through an innovative manufacturing process. Simply increasing an attribute of an existing product (e.g., the brightness or minimal increases in recycled content) would not qualify.

2019 AF&PA Sustainability Award Winners

Back row (left to right): 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 (left to right): Ryan Lichwell, Seaman Paper Company; Bryan Hollenbach, Green Bay Packaging; Lisa Bauer-Lotto, Green Bay Packaging; William Kress, Green Bay Packaging; Tom Howard, Domtar

2018 AF&PA Sustainability Award Winners

Left to right: Jason Roggenbauer, Clearwater Paper; Malisa Maynard, Clearwater Paper; Seth Kursman, Resolute Forest Products; AF&PA Board Chair John Rooney; AF&PA President & CEO Donna Harman, Steve Sangalli, Domtar; Mike Grimm, American Eagle Paper Mills; Rhea Hale, WestRock; Louis Hengen, WestRock; Steve Voorhees, WestRock

We are proud of these outstanding examples of leadership and innovation which demonstrate our industry’s sustainability record and the contributions they are making to achieve the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goals.