Social Stewardship

Health And Safety

Science-based Approach Helps GP Think Differently About Safety

Human and organizational performance is certainly a mouthful.  But even when shortened to “HOP,” this new view can have a big impact on keeping workers safe.  That’s why HOP is one part of GP’s overall safety strategy on the path to zero.

The traditional approach to safety is to try to prevent all accidents from happening and to “fix” the worker with rules or training when an accident or error occurs. HOP is a different approach that acknowledges that unexpected things will happen, so we work to build more resilient systems that keep employees from getting seriously injured or killed. The auto industry has used this thought process to make cars safer.

Employees are some of the best problem-solvers because they are the ones closest to the work and have experienced things that have gone wrong. One way to apply HOP is by asking questions before starting hazardous work. Real life questions like:When I’m doing this work, what could seriously injure or kill me?

  • What controls (safeguards) are in place?
  • Is that enough to protect me when – not if – something goes wrong?

Once a hazardous task is completed, talking about what didn’t go as planned helps to find ways to improve for the next time. It’s a lifelong learning process. And while it takes time and a different way of thinking, it makes doing work easier to get right and more difficult to get wrong.

Using human and organizational performance is just one way we put stewardship into action, using our best knowledge and employee know-how to operate in a responsible way.

Meet Melvin Whatley and Dawn Wurst to learn more about how they use HOP in their roles.

Employee Experience

Six Decades of Dedication: Clyde Glisson of GP’s Palatka Hits 60-Year Mark

The journey toward self-actualization includes being a lifelong learner and realizing your potential—ideally leading to fulfillment. Challenges arise and are never-ending, proving that lifelong learners have to find creative ways to solve problems and try to overcome them. For some folks, this comes naturally but very rarely at a young age like 17-year-old Clyde Glisson back in 1961.

What started as a temporary job has now become a 60-year journey toward fulfillment for Clyde, a first class electrician at GP’s Palatka, Florida, mill. He started at the mill before it was even GP’s, as a temporary hire with Hudson Pulp & Paper making $1.84 per hour. Working at the same place for 60 years is admirable and even rare among newer generations, but what’s even more commendable is the inner growth that Clyde experienced over the years, along with his ability to help others succeed.

Clyde Glisson at his workstation

“The younger people come in and they know a lot,” says Glisson. “But we work with each other.”

It’s not a mystery that various generations often share various views of work. However, it can be beneficial when it comes to knowledge sharing, by putting everyone in a position to share their individual strengths and simultaneously challenging their weaknesses. The same goes for changes in leadership through the years. “Every time a new VP came, they would do something a little different—and it ended up being right,” says Glisson. “We have really benefited from every leader who has been through here, right up until today. That’s what they are here for—to help build our company. Help it move forward, so we can be more competitive and meet the needs of our customers.”

Clyde Glisson
Pictured: Clyde Glisson, started working on various tissue machines and kraft paper machines and now a first-class electrician.

Despite other opportunities that have come Clyde’s way over the years, he’s always considered GP to be home—while expanding his own home with two children including his son, Clyde Jr., who has followed in his footsteps as a fellow mill employee, and his wife, Rose, who still prepares a bag lunch for him every morning. Clyde was also able to give back during his career with GP by serving in the National Guard for 11 years plus two terms as a Putnam County Commissioner. However, Clyde doesn’t just consider the GP location to be home—it literally is, almost. He  grew up 10 miles from the paper mill and now lives 12 miles away. “When I started working at Hudson Pulp and Paper [mill] a lot of community people were already working at the mill.” Clyde continues, “So, you see, it just felt like home to me because the love, help and understanding was being given from employees to other employees on the job. We still have some of that relationship within our mill today. I thank God for that, the mill and my job!”

Community Outreach and Philanthropy

For more than 20 years, we have teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes with qualified families.  We share Habitat’s mission to “build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.”

Our support for local STEM and robotics educational initiatives in rural schools has created additional opportunities for rural, minority students to get a head start on STEM-related careers.

Kids in Need believes every child in America should have equal opportunity and access to a quality education. That’s why we partner with them to help nearly 205,000 teachers and more than 5 million students in some of the most under-resourced communities across the country each year.

For many years, Georgia-Pacific has partnered with Angelina College in East Texas. This partnership helps prepare “ready-made employees” who are fully prepared to begin working in various manufacturing positions.

We have a long history of supporting the civil rights movement, especially in Atlanta where we are headquartered. This includes working closely with the King family, Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center. Georgia-Pacific was one of the original founders of the The Center For Civil and Human Rights located in Atlanta.

Georgia-Pacific works with organizations that reduce disparities in equal access to quality healthcare.  The United Way supports a variety of critical, life-improving needs in communities across the United States.  Georgia-Pacific is committed to ending breast cancer. Our employees volunteer and advocate on behalf of Susan G. Komen by participating in over 80 Komen walks over the past 10 years and donating over $6M to date.

Underserved communities suffer broadly from natural disasters due to location of housing and scarce government support when disaster strikes.  GP works to overcome this barrier by partnering with first responders through Convoy of Hope and our own Bucket Brigade Program.

Providing access to public spaces is linked with helping people participate in shared experiences and decision-making, and public activities that build trust and community. From ballfields and butterfly sanctuaries to parks and playgrounds, we provide access to areas across the U.S. where communities can gather together.  The St. Johns River Center in Palatka, Florida, showcases the unique and varied ecosystems of the St. Johns River as well as its unique history, culture, and commerce.

In Muskogee, Oklahoma, you can visit the Butterfly House in Honor Heights Park for an up-close and personal experience with the many varieties of native butterflies to the state. In Clatsop County, Oregon, our Wauna mill donated 27 acres of property for a park and an additional $20,000 for a playground, picnic area and restrooms. Fishing and camping are encouraged at Lake Georgia-Pacific in Crossett, Arkansas.