Why (Creative) Destruction is Good for the Environment

Apr 17, 2014, 14:13 ET from Georgia-Pacific

ATLANTA, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was written by Traylor Champion, vice president of Environmental Affairs, Georgia-Pacific:

At Georgia-Pacific, we're committed to protecting the environment, keeping people safe and creating long-term value for customers, the company and the larger community.  You may be thinking – that sounds great, but how is Georgia-Pacific different when it comes to making changes that benefit the environment?

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A key component for achieving our vision for environmental excellence is having a culture that champions innovation.  This goes well beyond the environmental staffs in our facilities across the country – everyone has a role to play every day. 

Our culture at Georgia-Pacific focuses on driving constructive change in every aspect of our company.  That's why we challenge our employees to think creatively and experiment to solve problems – something we call "creative destruction." This applies to environmental issues, like finding practical uses for manufacturing byproducts so they don't go to landfills, or making our processes more efficient to reduce air emissions and conserve resources like groundwater and energy – just to name a few.

In recent years, the American Forest & Paper Association recognized Georgia-Pacific's innovation with two "Leader in Sustainability" awards – one in 2012 for a comprehensive energy management program for our manufacturing facilities, and another in 2013 for a project that reduced groundwater usage by nearly 10 million gallons per day at our Brunswick, Ga., mill.

This year, we're also celebrating the 20th year of our Environmental Excellence Awards program, which recognizes creative problem solving by Georgia-Pacific employees across our many businesses around the country.  This year's winners range from re-use projects that convert waste material into products like animal bedding and coffee cup trays, to an initiative that builds a skilled talent pool of environmental professionals working for Georgia-Pacific.

While we're proud of these innovations that exemplify our everyday responsibility to the environment, we'll always have work to do if we're going to continue to be sustainable.

Our commitment to environmental excellence isn't because it's trendy or there's a special date on the calendar. We believe it's an essential component of earning the right to operate in our communities, not just now, but for many years to come. 

Please visit our website to read more about how every day is Earth Day at Georgia-Pacific.

Media contact: Karen Cole, (404) 652-4747, karen.cole@gapac.com

SOURCE Georgia-Pacific