Company / News Room / 2014 / 04 / Why (Creative) Destruction is Good for the Environment
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Why (Creative) Destruction is Good for the Environment

By: Traylor Champion, vice president of Environmental Affairs, Georgia-Pacific

Updated Tue April 15, 2014

At Georgia-Pacific, we’re committed to protecting the environment, keeping people safe and creating long-term value for customers, the company and the larger community.  You may be thinking – that sounds great, but how is Georgia-Pacific different when it comes to making changes that benefit the environment?

A key component for achieving our vision for environmental excellence is having a culture that champions innovation.  This focus on innovation goes well beyond the environmental staffs in our facilities across the country – everyone has a role to play every day. 

Traylor ChampionOur culture at Georgia-Pacific teaches that we must continually drive constructive change in every aspect of our company.  That’s why we challenge our employees to think creatively and experiment to solve problems – something we call “creative destruction.” This applies to environmental problems, like finding practical uses for manufacturing byproducts so they don’t go to landfills, or making our processes more efficient to reduce air emissions and conserve resources like groundwater and energy – just to name a few.

In recent years, the American Forest & Paper Association recognized Georgia-Pacific’s innovation with two “Leader in Sustainability” awards – one in 2012 for a comprehensive energy management program for our manufacturing facilities, and another in 2013 for a project that reduced groundwater usage by nearly 10 million gallons per day at our Brunswick, Ga., mill.

This year, we’re celebrating the 20th year of our Environmental Excellence Awards program, which recognizes creative problem-solving by Georgia-Pacific employees across our business units around the country.  You can read about this year’s stand-outs here.

While these innovations exemplify our everyday responsibility to the environment, we’ll always have work to do if we’re going to continue to be sustainable. No matter how good we might think we are at managing various aspects of our environmental risk, we cannot continue to stay in business unless we make improvements and innovations. 

Our commitment to environmental excellence isn’t because it’s trendy or there’s a special date on the calendar. We believe it’s an essential component of earning the right to operate in our communities, not just now, but for many years to come. 

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