2000 Jury Citation
The Jury is pleased to award the 2000 WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Environmental Achievement to the International Paper Company for its commitment to sustainable land management and stewardship incorporated into daily business operations. International Paper recognizes that its business is based on sustainable management of the environment and renewable resources and that the environment depends on International Paper’s sustainable business practices.
International Paper’s Signature Contribution of habitat conservation is a unique and innovative plan designed to contribute to the recovery of an endangered species and to serve as a landmark model for global application of endangered species protection.
International Paper’s commitment to sustainable forest management, while simultaneously providing commercial products that maintain environmental integrity, serve as a cornerstone of their policy. Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) policy is under direction of the CEO’s senior lead team and the Board of Directors Environment and Technology Committee. Responsibility for stewardship of crucial land resources is embodied in their commitment to the Sustainable Forestry Principles, known and supported by each employee.
International Paper’s aggressive EHS policy is measured by accomplishments, with goals for the elimination of environmental incidents and reduction or elimination of emissions set at each facility and each level. All facilities must have annual pollution prevention plans, solid and hazardous waste reduction plans, and show results of previous year targets. For example, an 86% reduction in U.S. environmental incidents was achieved since 1993 -- two years ahead of schedule.
International Paper became the first forest products company in the U.S. to earn ISO 14001 certification of a forest management system. Worldwide, International Paper has received eleven ISO 14001 registrations including three forest management regions covering 4.5 million acres in the U.S. Guided by their program of Operational Excellence, doing right things the right way, International Paper has voluntarily eliminated the use of elemental chlorine in pulp bleaching operations at 15 pulp and paper mills by 1999.
To ensure continued improvement in EHS initiatives, International Paper has established an EHS University to engage its employees in the company’s environmental, health and safety culture. Presented frequently, the curriculum is available to all employees and customers. International Paper provides its experience and technical expertise to customers in order to minimize potential adverse effects their products may have on the environment.
International Paper is a natural leader in developing new solutions for global issues. Its most recent leadership initiations address sustainable forestry and climate change. International Paper has worked closely with the American Forest and Paper Association to develop the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard.?? As a leader in the forestry industry International Paper is helping to set standards for best practices and enhanced environmental performance.
International Paper is participating in identifying and developing the mechanism for carbon sequestration, carbon dioxide emission reduction, and clean development mechanisms. This landmark study is now being expanded to cover all of International Paper’s facilities and products, developing a carbon mass balance for atmosphere carbon sequestration in photosynthesis to a product’s end-of-life, accounting for all possible end-of-life dispositions, as well as the potential for in-product carbon sequestration.
The Signature Project, an innovative habitat conservation plan, is a first-of-its-kind mitigation bank on private lands initiated by an industrial concern, and which contributes to the long term survival of a species while providing the company the flexibility it needs to manage its land. Uniquely, the plan was developed in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Defense Fund.
International Paper has overcome real problems associated with forestry and paper products manufacturing through their commitment to environmental stewardship in every aspect of their operation and their constant striving for continual improvement in EHS performance. International Paper’s integration of environmental protection, economic growth, and social responsibility as represented by the Signature Contribution and their global environmental concerns, serve as a model for others to follow. The Jury is proud to designate International Paper for the 2000 WEC Gold Medal Award for International Corporate Environmental Achievement.