Sustainabilty is about more than protecting the environment and conserving our natural resources. It's also about people. By our definition, sustainability means operating in a way that does not compromise the needs of future generations.

Addressing Critical Needs In Our Communities

Every community has a unique set of critical needs. Understanding these needs is key to creating value for generations to come. That is why community engagement is central to our sustainability strategy.

Community engagement allows us to understand the issues that are important to each community. Embracing the needs of our communities is how we ensure the long-term success of our business.

We mobilize our people, products and resources to adress critical needs in the communities where our employees live and work.

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Signature causes

With more than 52,000 employees in more than 24 countries, International Paper enhances the communities in which we operate. We concentrate our efforts on four signature causes, as well as environmental causes important to local communities.

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The future of our communities depends on the children, so we support strategic collaborators that focus on helping children succeed.

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We work with food banks and other agencies to address hunger and food security for children, families and seniors.

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Health & Wellness

We engage our employees and work with agencies to promote healthy living habits and achieve measurable improvements in health and wellness.

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Disaster Relief

We partner with agencies to help communities prepare for and recover from natural disasters, and we use our Employee Relief Fund to support our impacted colleagues.

Since 2010, International Paper has invested more than $110 million to address critical needs in the communities where our employees live and work.


Community Engagement In Action

How does International Paper benefit the communities where we operate? Let's take a look at a few examples:

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United States

Aiding employees when disaster strikes

In 2018, International Paper and our Employee Relief Fund (ERF) helped more than 1,200 employees affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. The ERF is supported by employee donations and matched dollar-for-dollar by the company. Also, in response to the 2018 hurricanes, we provided nearly half a million disaster relief boxes to the Feeding America® network of food banks.

Boxing out hunger in our communities

International Paper employees in our Franklin, Virginia Mill donated more than 3,600 pounds of food packed in our custom Community Engagement boxes to Franklin Cooperative Ministry – the largest single donation the organization had received in its history. The donation provided over 2,800 meals to local residents in need.

Promoting literacy

Through our partnership with Reading is Fundamental, we provided three free books to every first grader at nine elementary schools in the Escambia, Florida School District. Volunteers from our Pensacola Mill helped distribute books and encouraged children to build home libraries.

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Providing clean water to communities in India

Working hand-in-hand with local legislators, village representatives and officials, we have constructed 35 (and counting) safe drinking water plants that have been instrumental in providing fresh water to villages and educational institutions that would have otherwise struggled to gain access.

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Latin America

Empowering young people with quality education

Since 2010, International Paper Brazil’s employee volunteers have provided professional training for socioeconomically disadvantaged youths as part of International Paper’s Formare project. The nine-month program gives participants the training, skills and guidance to pursue successful careers in manufacturing.

Educating children about the environment

As part of our Environmental Education Program in Xalapa, Mexico, team members visit schools every month to discuss the importance of caring for the environment. More than 500 students participated in the program in its first year.

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Running for health and wellness in Poland

For nearly a decade, International Paper’s Kwidzyn Mill has hosted the esteemed Papermaker’s Run, attracting thousands of runners from across the world. Staffed entirely by International Paper volunteers, the 10-kilometer race winds through the town of Kwidzyn and through the grounds of the paper mill, creating one of the most unique sporting events in the world.

Expanding Our Impact Through Collaboration

We're proud to work with organizations that make a significant impact on the communities where we live and work.

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American Red Cross®

International Paper is a national Annual Disaster Giving Program member for the American Red Cross. This commitment builds upon our long-time support of American Red Cross disaster relief programs and helps more than 100 communities across the country.

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Arbor Day Foundation®

International Paper's support of Arbor Day Foundation's Community Tree Recovery Program is promoting community resilience by helping homeowners recover the beauty and benefit of trees after a natural disaster, as well as helping to restore forestlands impacted by natural disasters.

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Coaching For Literacy

Together, International Paper and Coaching for Literacy support the Fight for Literacy Games initiative benefiting school children from kindergarten to 3rd grade. The Fight for Literacy Games empower NCAA basketball coaches, their teams and fans to participate in literacy awareness efforts, volunteer work and fundraising activities.

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Feeding America®

Feeding America® is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the U.S. and also represents our largest collaboration across people, products and resources in the U.S., as we work together to "box out hunger" and to provide disaster relief.

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Reading is Fundamental

International Paper supports Reading is Fundamental through their Books for Ownership program, which gives age-appropriate books to first-graders in school districts where our employees live and work, so they can begin building their own home libraries.

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The Global FoodBanking Network

We are working with The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) to expand child-focused programming to feed food insecure and undernourished children in Brazil, Canada, Poland and Spain. In just one year, funding is expected to provide more than 2.4 million pounds of food to more than 100,000 hungry and malnourished children so they can start their day prepared to learn and thrive.

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United Way

Each year, we conduct more than 80 local United Way campaigns in the U.S. and Canada, enabling employees to donate to their communities in a meaningful way. International Paper matches employee donations with 60 cents on the dollar. In addition to financial pledges, employee volunteers participate in a variety of United Way Days of Caring projects.

For a complete listing of our global collaborations, visit

Key Takeaway

Sustainability means more than just protecting the environment in every step of the supply chain. Community engagement is central to our sustainability strategy. We are committed to mobilizing our people, products and resources to address critical needs in our communities.