Sustainability

Through the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) the forest products industry established the most extensive set of quantifiable sustainability goals for a major U.S. manufacturing industry.

This initiative, Better Practices, Better Planet 2020, includes a set of six specific, challenging sustainability goals for the forest products industry to achieve by the year 2020. The goals are designed to build on the industry’s record of sustainability leadership, and include a transparent, biennial reporting process for holding the industry accountable for achieving them.


Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 includes the following sustainability goals:

  • Exceed 70 percent rate of paper recovery for recycling; 

  • Improve our members' purchased energy efficiency use by at least 10 percent;

  • Reduce the intensity of members' greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15 percent;

  • Increase the amount of fiber procured from certified forest lands or through certified fiber sourcing programs in the U.S., and work to decrease illegal logging;

  • A vision for the industry of zero injuries, and progressing toward that vision by further improving our safety incidence rate by 25 percent; and
  • Reduce water use in members' pulp and paper mills by 12 percent.

For additional information on the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative, please click here.

Life Cycle Analysis

In 2010, the Renewable Bag Council completed its first ever life cycle analysis (LCA). The main objective of an LCA is to compile and evaluate the inputs, outputs and potential environmental impacts of a product system (grocery bags) throughout its life cycle. The purpose of the LCA was to establish a benchmark for documenting performance improvements for the industry's paper and paper-based products.

This specific LCA studied the average North American unbleached grocery bag (1/6 barrel) and followed all ISO standards.