The American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) is the nationwide trade association of the forest products industry and enhances public policies that promote a strong and sustainable US forest products industry in the global arena. AF&PA’s member enterprises account for more than 75% of the US’s pulp, paper-based packaging and wood building materials. The association’s membership represents a diverse spectrum of the industry. AF&PA also gathers policy information, statistical and research data about the forest products industry. The monthly and annual statistical reports provide in-depth information about the American paper and pulp industry (AFPA, 2011a).
Highlighting the achievements of the American paper industry, AF&PA reports that, in 2010, 63.5% of the paper consumed in the US was recovered for recycling. This represents an 89% increase in paper recovery since 1990 (AFPA, 2011b) (AFPA, 2011c).
Underlining the achievements of the American paper industry in climate change mitigation, AF&PA reports that US forests and forest products absorb about 10% of the US’s annual CO2 emissions. Moreover, member enterprises have been able to reduce their GHG emissions intensity by 14% in the period 2000-2008 (AFPA, 2011d).
The fact sheet “Renewable Energy and the Forest Products Industry” briefly describes the utilization of renewable energy and raw material sources in the American paper industry. It has been stated that on average pulp and paper mills generated 65% of their energy requirements from renewable biomass. Increased use of renewable energy means the industry has reduced its dependence on fossil fuels and purchased energy per ton product by 19% since 2000 (AFPA, 2011e).
Under the initiative “Better Practices – Better Planet 2020”, AFPA members have pledged to reduce the intensity of GHG emissions by 15% from 2005 levels by 2020 (AFPA, 2011f). Under a similar initiative, the association members have also pledged to improve the energy efficiency in purchased energy use by a minimum of 10% by 2020 based on 2005 levels (AFPA, 2011g).