June 5, is World Environment Day. The 2019 theme is Beat Air Pollution —something we at AF&PA and the greater U.S. paper and wood products industry have been dedicated to for decades. Our latest greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal, which is part of AF&PA’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative, aims to reduce emissions from member company facilities by at least 20 percent between 2005 and 2020. Our last sustainability report shows that members achieved a 19.9 percent reduction in 2016, nearly reaching the goal. And this is after they surpassed the previous goal of a 15 percent reduction in GHG emissions in 2014. Members achieved these great reductions by using efficient manufacturing processes, generating carbon-neutral biomass fuel on-site and replacing traditional fossil fuels like oil and coal with less carbon-intensive natural gas. In 2016, carbon-neutral biomass and renewable fuels provided, on average, about two-thirds of member facility energy needs. Click Read More below for additional information.
Paper Excellence commends the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Program decision to accept the Howe Sound Biosphere Region into its family of Biosphere Reserves. The network of Biosphere Reserves includes 701 sites in 124 countries around the world. The application was submitted by the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society.
UNESCO Biosphere Regions are learning places for sustainable development. They are sites for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems. Each region has three complementary and balanced functions including:
- Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity
- Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable
- Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training
Graham Kissack, Paper Excellence’s VP of Environment, Health, Safety and Communications commented that, “This is an important project that recognizes the ecological uniqueness of Howe Sound. We have been operating in and working hard to protect this area for many decades now and we’re proud of our state-of-the-art emissions controls equipment and our facility’s salmon hatchery which hosted salmon fry from the Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society again this summer. We look forward to building new partnerships as Howe Sound becomes a learning place for sustainable development.”
In 2020, Paper Excellence’s Howe Sound Pulp and Paper facility used 91% renewable energy having reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 49% since 1990. The facility, which also generates biomass derived electricity onto BC’s grid, is certified to the independent ISO 14001 environmental management standard.