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We hear a lot about sustainability these days, but what does it mean?

Sustainability means the ability or the capacity to endure.

Sustainability also means providing for the needs of the current generation without jeopardizing the needs of future generations. Most often, sustainability refers to the responsible use of the environment and natural resources, which is critically important. But sustainability also has economic and social considerations as well. A business must have good financial footing and a safe, committed workforce in order to serve its customers and provide the jobs that sustain families and communities in the Pacific Northwest.

For NWPPA members, sustainability means balancing environmental, economic and social considerations for current and future generations. In fact, those three elements are a part of everything we do.

For example, because wood chips and shavings are the basic ingredients in making paper, paper producers have a vested interest in ensuring a dependable, long term supply of those materials. Consequently, supporting healthy working forests is not only the right thing to do, it’s good business.

Recycling the water used in the paper making process and burning biomass instead of only fossil fuel allows paper mills to reduce their environmental impact – but it also helps cut production costs. Lower costs help a company be more competitive and more successful in the marketplace. But sustaining a company involves more than just financial strength; it includes focusing on employees by providing good salaries and benefits, training opportunities and workplace safety programs. Skilled, safe and committed employees help make a company successful and a successful company is better able to invest in environmental technology and provide the good, family-wage jobs that sustain communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

For NWPPA members, sustainability means maintaining a balance that provides benefits for all, today and for generations to come.

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