Representatives of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Northwest Pulp & Paper Association (NWPPA) and Oregon Forest & Industries Council (OFIC) are partnering to host today’s Forest Products Advocacy Day in Salem, Oregon. In meetings with legislators, they plan to highlight industry sustainability successes, including current greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and the recently-announced goal, and discuss upcoming legislation.
Following the success of GHG emission reductions by member companies, AF&PA has announced its new GHG reduction goal of 20 percent by the year 2020. In 2014, sustainable manufacturing practices under the association’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative led to a 16 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by member facilities, surpassing the previous 15 percent reduction goal ahead of schedule. In meetings with Oregon state lawmakers, they will discuss how any legislation to regulate or tax GHG emissions should account for industry leadership on emissions reductions.
“Oregon’s paper and wood product industry manufactures the products that make everyday life easier and remains committed to sustainability. That focus has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions today and will contribute to further reductions in the years ahead,” said AF& PA President & CEO Donna Harman. “We hope state lawmakers will account for that leadership on the road ahead, allowing Oregon’s forest industries to remain globally competitive.”
Nearly half of Oregon is forestland, affording the state the number one position in both softwood and plywood production in the U.S. The state’s forest sector provides more than 60,000 living-wage jobs at an average $50,000 annual salary, four percent higher than the average wage for all Oregon employment.
“Our companies are faithful stewards of Oregon’s abundant natural resources and dedicate themselves to the manufacturing practices that preserve and protect our state’s environment and reduce greenhouse gasses in the process” said NWPPA Executive Director Chris McCabe. “The Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 results speak for themselves. On the road ahead, we look forward to sharing ideas to build on this success without implementing costly and complex new legislation.”
“Oregon’s working forests play a critical role in contributing to environmental benefits like clean air and water, renewable building materials and a vibrant economy,” said OFIC President Kristina McNitt. “From the use of biomass to the creation of new mass timber products, our industry’s innovative use of wood as a sustainable, renewable resource is gaining national attention and creating essential jobs for rural Oregonians. Our industry is dedicated to careful management of our environment while ensuring our forests are healthy and productive for generations to come.”