Domtar’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Henry joined other forest product industry executives in Washington, D.C. recently for Advocacy Day events focused on sustainable manufacturing priorities.
As part of the American Forest & Paper Association’s annual Advocacy Day, the group met with Congressional leaders and administration officials to discuss issues affecting the industry’s more than 900,000 employees every day.
“This is a great opportunity to keep our concerns in front of national leaders and help them see how decisions made in Washington affect people working in manufacturing and relying on our products,” Henry says. “We enjoyed productive and thoughtful conversations that can lead to policies that drive American manufacturing forward and help maintain the sustainability of our industry.”
Paper and Packaging Caucus Co-Chairs Sen. John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Rep. Lou Correa (D-California) met the group to discuss the industry’s priority issues.
As part of Advocacy Day, the 21 executives met with Senate and House members on topics including bioenergy neutrality, recycling initiatives, and air and water regulations. Read on to learn more about our positions on these issues.
Domtar and other paper and pulp manufacturers produce enormous amounts of carbon-neutral bioenergy, primarily from the residuals of the manufacturing process. This bioenergy meets about two-thirds of our industry’s energy needs, and some is sold onto the electricity grid.
We continue to advocate for the recognition of the carbon-neutrality of our bioenergy.
Recycling also was a focus of the advocacy day. Our record on paper recycling proves our commitment to producer responsibility and sustainability.
As the United States grapples with the challenges of plastics recycling, we have seen increased activity in support of government incentives or mandates or bans and fees on products that would disrupt our market-based paper recycling system. We also have seen chemical recycling bills that would define energy recovery techniques as “recycling.”
We support better access to recycling and stronger infrastructure. We want to ensure our successful paper recycling story continues.
Additionally, environmental regulations continue to be a significant concern and a focus of Advocacy Day.
The forest products industry is a critical source of high-paying jobs, particularly in rural communities, and it is an economic driver for surrounding regions. Paper mills are heavily regulated but must operate efficiently in a competitive global market.
Leaders urged administration officials to work with manufacturers to produce sustainable rules that attain common goals.
“We believe that collaborating will help us achieve sustainability in both the environment and the industry, positioning the U.S. as a global leader,” Henry says. “Domtar and other pulp and paper manufacturers share the government’s goals to secure a more sustainable future. We can work together to get there.”