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Sustainability Generation Talks Next-Gen Perspectives on Paper

Four of Domtar's Gen Z interns from the sustainability generation - Gen Z. Their photos are superimposed on the letters NEXT with an orange, textured background. Text reads NEXT is Now.

In the second part of our Next-Gen Perspectives series, we meet more members of the sustainability generation — our Gen Z interns. We get their perspectives on paper, the environment and the forest products industry.

When it comes to environmental, social and corporate responsibility, no generation is as demanding as Generation Z. In fact, Gen Z has been dubbed the “sustainability generation” for its focus on and demand for sustainably-produced products and brands with minimal environmental footprints.

But Gen Z is more than just the sustainability generation. They also focus on community involvement, equity and inclusion, social justice and diversity. And as they enter the workforce, they’re looking for companies that share their values.

At Domtar — part of the Paper Excellence group of companies — we’re committed to ensuring a sustainable and better future for all. This makes our company a great fit for Gen Z interns like Elijah Jackson, Jake Magri, Sarah Thompson and Caleb Winslow.

Read on to learn how their experiences at Domtar are shaping these members of the sustainability generation’s view of our industry.

Elijah Jackson, procurement intern, Fort Mill, S.C.

As a supply chain management senior at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, Elijah Jackson was thrilled he obtained a procurement internship at Domtar. His experience is helping him narrow down his future plans.

“I wasn’t sure which aspect of supply chain management I wanted to focus on as a career. But now that I’m here, I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. I think it’s a great option for the future,” he says. “I didn’t know much about the paper industry before. But through this internship and our tours at the Marlboro Mill and the Tatum Converting Center, I’ve learned just how much goes into the paper-making process. I’ve learned how important it is that the raw materials be environmentally friendly and handled correctly. It’s changing my thinking when it comes to the environment in general.

“I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of things I’ve never done before. It’s real work that’s necessary, not just busywork. I’m getting to interact with people throughout the Domtar system. I’m glad I’ve been open to new opportunities because it’s been a great experience.”

Jake Magri, test automation engineering intern, Fort Mill, S.C.

As an Army veteran and a senior in management information systems at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Jake Magri wants his work to make a difference.

“My experience in management information systems gives me top-down insight into most industries and how businesses are conducted on a large scale. But I’m also interested in working with companies that are focused on sustainability and giving back,” says this member of the sustainability generation. “I take great pride in my work. I look forward to contributing to a greater purpose, something that’s bigger than me.

“I’ve learned that pulp and paper is a mature industry. It’s not focused on explosive growth, but on sustainability and environmental consciousness. Domtar is in a prime position to lead the way in innovation and sustainability. Technology might be my trade, but contributing to the paper industry sounds like a great way to have a long-term impact.”

Sarah Thompson, engineering intern, Johnsonburg Mill

Sarah Thompson is an Elk County, Pennsylvania, native who’s familiar with Johnsonburg’s rich papermaking history and Domtar’s role in it.

“I was impressed by the efforts that Domtar has made to support the local community, not only by offering more than 350 jobs and having a substantial local economic impact, but also through community revitalization projects, such as the Johnsonburg Community Center and the high school Learning Lounge,” she says.

“Before my internship opportunity at Domtar, I, like many others, didn’t think about where the paper I was using for notes and textbooks came from, let alone the complexities that are behind the manufacturing process. Now I look at paper completely differently.”

Thompson will graduate in May 2024 from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a minor in environmental engineering.

Caleb Winslow, meteorology intern at the Plymouth Mill

Caleb Winslow grew up near the Plymouth Mill. As a senior majoring in meteorology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he chose to intern at Plymouth this summer. Domtar’s Plymouth Mill produces softwood fluff pulp that goes into absorbent hygiene products and baby diapers.

“A majority of my family has worked — and still does work — here. I’ve always been fascinated by the mill,” he says.

This member of the sustainability generation has a new outlook on the pulp and paper industry. “Since working at Domtar, I’ve drastically changed my perception of the industry. Before, I thought that the industry was very wasteful. But since starting my internship, I’ve seen that the industry is very sustainable, as there are many policies in place that make sure the mill replaces more than it takes.”

Opportunities for the sustainability generation — and all generations

Are you interested in a career or internship at Domtar? Visit to learn about open opportunities. Get more information about our internship and co-op programs in the Student Focus section.