As part of the celebration of the 63rd annual National Forest Products Week, Domtar and the Paper Excellence Group took a message of sustainability and innovation to Washington, D.C., as part of a forest products advocacy day.
Representatives from the company and others visited the nation’s capital to discuss critical issues facing our industry in public policy. The forest products advocacy event, organized by the American Forest & Paper Association, brought together advocates for pulp, paper and packaging companies operating in the United States and around the world.
“During National Forest Products Week, we recognize the 925,000 people from the forest products industry who make sustainable products for a more sustainable future,” says AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “These are people who make innovative paper and wood products, made from renewable resources and used by millions of Americans daily. Our industry accounts for about 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, making about $350 billion in products annually.”
Advocates held meetings with legislators and staff to discuss priorities for the forest products industry as we work to meet sustainability goals and continue to invest in manufacturing in the United States. Two of top issues for forest products advocacy efforts are bioenergy and environmental regulations.
Domtar and other paper and pulp manufacturers produce enormous amounts of carbon-neutral bioenergy, primarily from the residuals of the manufacturing process. This bioenergy meets about two-thirds of Domtar industry’s energy needs, and some is sold onto the electricity grid. Domtar continues to advocate for the recognition of the carbon-neutrality of our bioenergy.
Additionally, environmental regulations continue to be a significant concern and a focus of our forest products advocacy efforts. The forest products industry is a critical source of high-paying jobs, particularly in rural communities, and it is an economic driver for surrounding regions. Paper mills are heavily regulated but must operate efficiently in a competitive global market.
Domtar industry representatives encouraged administration officials to work with manufacturers to produce sustainable rules that attain common goals.