It’s no surprise that perhaps one of the most important ingredients in the food and beverage industry is water. Because it is such a precious resource in everything from product processing to facility operations, many in the food and beverage industry are finding new ways to wring maximum value and efficiency from every drop. Amid rising prices and growing water scarcity, food manufacturers around the world are finding ways to increase their system-wide water efficiencies through recycling programs and other initiatives.
Domtar products are part of everyday living for people around the world, and the forests where our products originate are home to a wide range of wildlife. That’s why protecting both habitats and resources is so important to us. Our conservation efforts are a foundational part of our sustainability philosophy of responsibility, efficiency and engagement.
The most recent example of our ongoing commitment to wildlife management and conservation is a new partnership with the American Forest Foundation (AFF). This partnership will help private woodland owners in northwest Pennsylvania and southwest New York improve habitats for at-risk bird and wildlife species.
Through these conservation efforts, we hope to increase the number of landowners engaged in active management of their properties, including the long-term production of sustainable wood fiber. We also plan to create, restore and enhance critical bird habitats across the area in a tangible, measurable and ecologically meaningful way.
Our partnership with AFF will help woodland owners implement essential forest practices to create better habitats for iconic bird species, such as the golden-winged, black-throated blue and cerulean warblers. In addition, our conservation efforts will help teach communities how important active forest management is for birds and wildlife.
Other Domtar initiatives that help us promote biodiversity and conservation include the wildlife management plan at our Marlboro Mill, which focuses on helping the mill property support larger, healthier populations of local species like wild turkeys, whitetail deer and waterfowl, and the bald eagle preservation program at our Nekoosa Mill, which has helped protect and increase the local bald eagle population for more than 30 years.
“A core of our business, beyond simply providing quality products, is to ensure that the places in which we source raw materials are healthy and sustainable,” says Paige Goff, Domtar’s vice president of sustainability and business communications. “The American Forest Foundation has been a key partner in bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders who want our forests to be sustainable into the future and have helped establish a partnership that can help us all achieve this goal.”
Other partners in this initiative include the National Audubon Society’s New York and Pennsylvania state programs, Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture, U.S. Forest Service, Ruffed Grouse Society, National Wild Turkey Federation and other state and local organizations. These partners will focus their work in the Upper Allegheny and Sinnemahoning watersheds, with special attention to the area surrounding Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, near our Johnsonburg Mill.
“Landowners across the Northeast, including New York and Pennsylvania, want to care for wildlife and birds,” says Tom Martin, president and CEO of AFF. “But most need technical assistance and resources to truly make a positive impact. That’s what projects such as the latest AFF-Domtar-Audubon partnership are doing — connecting landowners with trained professionals and guiding them through the right steps toward conservation. Domtar, with its focus on sustainability and innovation, is the perfect partner to help bring this work to life.”