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Georgia-Pacific Receives Award for Water Use Reduction

Brunswick Cellulose, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific LLC, has been recognized by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) as a leader in sustainability by winning an AF&PA 2013 Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Sustainability Award.  The awards were presented at the association’s annual meeting on Friday, Nov. 1 in Charleston, S.C.

Designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives, awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories. Georgia-Pacific is being honored this year with the Leadership in Sustainability Water Award for its “Water Use Reduction” project at its cellulose mill in Brunswick, GA.

“Georgia-Pacific is consistently a leader in innovation,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “Through best practices in manufacturing technology, Georgia-Pacific has achieved water use reductions that are particularly impactful in coastal Georgia, where the region’s primary drinking-water source is threatened in some areas by saltwater intrusion.”

Georgia-Pacific installed a single-line bleach plant to replace three older pulp bleaching processes. The upgrade project resulted in a reduction in overall groundwater use of nearly 10 million gallons per day, or 30 percent of the mill’s total daily use, since the new equipment became fully operational in the first quarter of 2012.  The project also allows for a smaller energy footprint and lower air emissions from energy production.

“We’re honored to be recognized for this sustainability project and as a leader in innovative practices,” said Jim Hannan, CEO and president, Georgia-Pacific. “We’re always focused on opportunities to apply new process improvements that will help us conserve our natural resources and grow our business at the same time.” 

AF&PA releases its biennial Sustainability Report every other year, which in 2012 showed that the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturing industry has made significant, measurable progress toward achieving its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative.  AF&PA will release its next report in mid-2014.

AF&PA member company applicants are considered annually in two categories –
“Innovation in Sustainability” and “Leadership in Sustainability” – with five “Leadership” subcategories: Paper Recovery for Recycling, Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Sustainable Forest Management, Safety, and Water. Projects that support progress toward the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals qualify for recognition in the “Leadership” category; projects that merit recognition for their contribution to sustainable business practices but that do not specifically address one of these goals may be recognized in the “Innovation” category. 

In 2012, Georgia-Pacific was honored with the “Leaders in Sustainability” energy efficiency award for its “Improving Energy Efficiency” project, a comprehensive energy management program for its manufacturing facilities.

For more information about the Sustainability Awards program and AF&PA’s Better Practices initiative, visit www.afandpa.org/sustainability.