Aus­tralia’s pulp and pa­per in­dus­try a world leader in sus­tain­abil­ity and in­no­va­tion

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

60,820 full time equiv­a­lent jobs, more than 30,000 of which are in re­gional Aus­tralia. More than 95% of the wood fi­bre used in the man­u­fac­ture of pulp and pa­per and pa­per­board in Aus­tralia is in­de­pen­dently cer­ti­fied.

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.

“This re­port re­in­forces the many so­cio-eco­nomic ben­e­fits the pulp and pa­per in­dus­try de­liv­ers to the com­mu­nity,” said Aus­tralian For­est Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion (AFPA) CEO Ross Hamp­ton.

“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. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, driven lower by a plunge in con­sump­tion of newsprint and pro­gres­sively lower de­mand for other print­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion pa­pers, Aus­tralia’s to­tal de­mand for pa­per and pa­per­board fell 4.4% in the 201617 fi­nan­cial year. In vol­ume terms, the de­cline was more than 143,000 tonnes.

Se­na­tor Anne Rus­ton, Min­is­ter for In­dus­try Arthur Sin­odi­nos and AFPA CEO Ross Hamp­ton dis­cussing the 2016 Pulp & Pa­per Sus­tain­abil­ity Re­port.

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