An independent report assessing Australia’s pulp and paper industry confirms it is a world leader in sustainability and innovation, setting the agenda with ambitious investments in renewable energy and cutting-edge technology to underpin local manufacturing and many regional jobs.
Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) CEO Ross Hampton said: “This report reinforces the many socio-economic benefits the pulp and paper industry delivers to the community. Australia’s pulp and paper mills support almost 70,000 full-time jobs – mostly in rural and regional areas – and generate $940 million in exports.”
“Operations such as the Visy Pulp and Paper Mill in Tumut in regional NSW and Norske Skog’s Boyer Mill in Tasmania generate many flow-on benefits. Every job at Visy’s Tumut mill has created two additional direct jobs in the local and wider regional area. Visy is also planning further paper recycling and production investments that will add even more value to the plantation timber resources it utilises. Together with additional energy productivity enhancements, these will flow through to more high-paying manufacturing jobs in Australia.”
“Similarly, an assessment of Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill in regional Victoria shows that each job at the mill creates more than one additional job in the Latrobe Valley region, almost two further jobs in Victoria and more than 3.5 additional jobs across Australia.”
The Report also found Australia’s percentage of paper and paperboard recovery and recycling has increased dramatically over the last decade, putting it ahead of Europe and the USA. At 73.7 per cent, Australia’s implied paper and paperboard recycling rate compares favourably to Europe, at 71.5 per cent, and the USA, at 66.8 per cent. The sector is also supplied by a local forest industry that ranks highly for independently certified, sustainable practices.
“In addition to performing well in the areas of sustainability, economic contribution and job creation, the Report has found that the pulp and paper industry continues its energy efficiency push, recording emission reductions in the past year the equivalent of removing 39,308 cars from the road or powering 146,487 houses.”
The 2016 National Pulp and Paper Sustainability Report, prepared by independent pulp and paper industry consultant IndustryEdge, and published by AFPA, looked at key sustainability indicators including regional employment and economic development, wood fibre sustainability, energy efficiency, trade, water use, innovative new products, and recycling.