3 Reasons to Think About Sustainability Now

3 Reasons to Think About Sustainability Now

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3 Reasons to Think About Sustainability Now
#Reasons #Sustainability,


You read the headline correctly: Sustainability is “sexy.” Paige Goff, vice president of sustainability at Domtar, explains that there is a growing urgency among some of the younger generations (millennials and Gen Z in particular) to be involved with and support businesses that include sustainability initiatives as part of their mission.

“Sustainability is more sexy than people give it credit for,” she says. “Sustainability is not just about the environment. It’s about your whole life. … Sustainability goes throughout your entire mindset and living. So I think it’s more holistic than people understand.”

It’s so important, Goff says, that some individuals in these generations are willing to accept a lower salary if they know that what they’re doing is going to have an impact in some way or that they’re “giving back.”

“Giving back” is exactly what prompted Domtar to partner with PRINTING United Alliance on a recent initiative┬áin conjunction with the┬áPRINTING United Expo, which is heading to Atlanta, Georgia, on Oct. 18-20. As part of the partnership,┬áDomtar has committed to working with local small forest landowners to dedicate land to plant two trees for every registration made for the 2023 Expo.

“Planting trees really is very tactile in the sense of giving back,” she explains. “And as many as 32,000 or 34,000 people that will attend this, if we give almost 70,000 trees … I think that makes a really nice sustainability message. This was a win-win in so many different areas.”

Sustainability is not only important for Goff (as the vice president of sustainability), it’s crucially important for Domtar as a whole. Goff explains that the company has six different priorities for 2030 and beyond: safety; reduction of water usage; finding a pathway to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; community investment and volunteer hours; source 100% of its fiber from responsibly managed forests; and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Many of those goals tie directly into the company strengthening its sustainable business practices.

So, why should you care about sustainability and consider making changes in your business to meet larger sustainability goals and initiatives in the printing industry? Goff points out three key areas that you need to think about now.


Environmental Footprint: This one might seem obvious when talking about sustainability, but Goff says it’s about more than just going for the “low hanging fruit.” She explains that companies need to think outside the box when it comes to goals and strategies, such as figuring out different pathways to get to net zero, reducing greenhouse emissions, and reducing water usage, which are three of Domtar’s future goals. “We are an industry that has extremely heavy water usage, so that’s something we need to make sure that we highlight,” she says.


Credit: Getty Images by Hype Photography


Social Impact: “Trying to be inclusive and sustainable within your workplace and making sure that you retain new talent that comes into your organization is very important,” Goff says. One of those ways is making sure you’re tapping into different areas of what it means to be a sustainable business.┬áGoff explains that human rights, and diversity, equity and inclusion are all integral social components for modern businesses. Sustainability ÔÇö specifically in relation to environmental impact ÔÇö plays a big role in those areas as well. Investing in sustainable practices can make or break a company’s ability to attract and retain new employees. And with our current labor challenges, any avenue to strengthen the way others perceive your company is worth exploring.


Credit: Getty Images by Orbon Alija


Storytelling: It all comes down to how sustainability and paper are positioned in the printing industry. Goff mentions the narrative that the modern workforce should be “paperless” someday. She points out that it’s important to be mindful when it comes to printing things that need to be printed, but that it’s not an “all or nothing” situation. It all comes down to “telling the truth” and breaking down misconceptions about how the printing industry supports sustainable initiatives. Goff says that many people believe that paper contributes to the complete devastation of forests and trees, but that simply isn’t true. “We want people to have forests to hunt, take long walks, enjoy, fish … that’s what the forest is for,” she says. “We may harvest maybe twice in someone’s lifetime and it’s in different areas of the forest. We’re not cutting down trees in the same area. … It’s such a great story to tell about keeping forests as forests.” Think about how your company is helping to dispel misconceptions related to the printing industry.


Credit: Getty Images by Catherine MacBride


 

 



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3 Reasons to Think About Sustainability Now

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