There’s a good chance you haven’t thought too much about the box you received at your doorstep or the cellulose fiber in your baby’s diaper. However, did you know that by simply using those products, you are making a positive impact? Our use of forest products actually ensures healthy, long-lasting and abundant forests. Here are some things you might not know about fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products, and how they positively affect the environment, people and the economy.
Think about the vegetables you eat. When grown, harvested and managed in an environmentally sustainable way, farmers are able to produce crops and replant again and again. Like food crops, forest products are renewable. Responsibly grown, managed and harvested forests provide a sustainable supply of fiber for products, while ensuring forestland remains forested — and positive carbon and climate impacts continue indefinitely. And the responsible management of forests enables many other benefits, including preserving wildlife habitat, water protection and recreation.
For many years, beginning in 1942 when my grandfather made his initial purchase of cut-over timberlands, most of the lands we have purchased and brought under proper, sustainable forest management had been poorly managed or depleted. Such activity requires patience and a long-term perspective. International Paper has gone extra lengths to help my family achieve dual forestry certification that benefits both us and International Paper.
third generation landowner
In 2015, the United Nations set out a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity with the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They touch on everything from sustainable production to economic equity. We’re on board. At International Paper, our global citizenship strategy aligns with nine of those goals that have particular relevance given the nature, scale and reach of our company.
Fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper make the biggest companies in the world more sustainable by supplying them with recyclable products made from renewable resources, such as:
- Recyclable, sustainably made boxes that protect everything from your newly purchased smartphone to the vegetables and meats transported from farms to grocery stores
- Responsibly produced pulp that goes into diapers, feminine care products and other personal hygiene products
- Paper that provides a sustainable way to communicate and facilitate education
Our mills and facilities around the world are strategically located near managed forestland, allowing us to decrease transportation distances, which reduces emissions and use of fuel — providing cleaner air, a healthier planet and more jobs in local communities.
In the U.S., we are part of the EPA’s SmartWay program, which makes transporting freight cleaner and more efficient by reducing emissions and traffic.1
Almost all paper-based products can be recycled. Corrugated boxes, in particular, are very easy to recover in most communities. By weight, more paper is recovered for recycling from U.S. municipal solid waste streams than glass, plastic, steel and aluminum combined, according to the EPA. And when recycling is not an option, some paper products are also compostable. See Recycling and Beyond for more.
Every ton of paper recovered for recycling saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.2
International Paper operates in more than 24 countries. We’re proud that our production brings jobs to our communities, and we’re glad that we can support the places where we work.
- International Paper provides 52,000 global jobs and represents more than 100 ethnicities, countries and nationalities
- Paper and packaging is a $181 billion industry in the United States.3 It supports over 370,000 jobs 4
- We’re committed to safe, caring and inclusive workplaces. We’ve set targets to continue to improve. See our Vision 2030 commitment here.
$181 billion industry
370k jobs supported
Papermaking is not something that comes easy; it’s something that takes great dedication. I get a chance to work every day with some of the finest people in the papermaking process anywhere in the world.
Jim O’Bryan, Wood Operations Manager,
Ticonderoga, NY, 3rd generation papermaker
We address critical community needs where our employees live and work. Globally, we provide volunteers and millions of dollars in donations annually to address hunger, health and wellness, education and disaster relief.
We donate hundreds of thousands of custom-designed boxes each year to be a force for good in our communities
Responding to Disaster in the U.S.
In response to hurricanes in the United States, we provided disaster relief funding to both the American Red Cross and Feeding America® and worked with Feeding America® to provide nearly half a million disaster relief boxes to their network of U.S. food banks. Our boxes continue to play an important role in disaster recovery and community resilience today.
Mini-Eco School in Poland
Since 2015, International Paper volunteers in Kwidzyn, Poland have hosted a “Mini Eco School” for local primary school children. Kids have fun while getting a hands-on experience learning about ecology, sustainable forestry, paper production and recycling from International Paper experts.
Professional Training for Disadvantaged Youth in Brazil
Since 2010, International Paper Brazil’s employee volunteers have provided professional training for socioeconomically disadvantaged youths as part of International Paper’s Formare program. The nine-month program gives participants the training, skills, and guidance to pursue successful careers in manufacturing.
- Corrugated packaging is lightweight, lowering freight & handling costs with fewer trucks, less fuel and lower emissions.6
- Corrugated packaging is renewable and recyclable, making e-commerce more sustainable.7
- Corrugated packaging is the most recovered packaging material.8
- Corrugated packaging reduces the transfer of harmful bacteria.9
Corrugated packaging adds up to 3 days of shelf life to fresh foods over plastic packaging5
Reusable plastic containers (RPCs) weigh up to 4x more than corrugated packaging10
84% of people believe that they understand and can retain or use information much better when they read print on paper.12
Readers of print books absorb and remember more of the plot than readers of e-books do.13
Education is one of International Paper’s four signature causes. An estimated 2.5 million people benefit from by International Paper’s Education initiatives annually.