NORTHAMPTON, MA -- The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced its Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 Sustainability Award winners, which recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry. Five member companies were recognized for outstanding sustainability initiatives and International Paper was honored to receive a new award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for our Fighting Period Poverty in Our Communities initiative.
"We are honored by AF&PA's recognition of our efforts to fight period poverty," said Tom Hamic, senior vice president, International Paper. "Our teams are putting a tremendous amount of effort and energy into our Vision 2030 goals - especially in diversity and inclusion and being a force for good in our communities. Thanks to our team members for their passion and commitment to address period poverty globally, and I want to extend our immense gratitude to our partners at Always® for their leadership and partnership in this effort."
International Paper's Fighting Period Poverty in Our Communities initiative began four years ago to provide period care kits that contain menstrual health management supplies for women and girls who do not have access to these products each month. In 2021, 13 IP facilities in the U.S. hosted volunteer packing events with employees -- providing 4,875 period care kits in their communities. In 2022, IP joined forces with Procter & Gamble's Always® brand to expand awareness and impact by hosting 45 packing events and distributing 25,000 kits across U.S. and non-U.S. locations. This will result in more than 600,000 units of product being made available to women and girls who need them most this year. The period care kits contain menstrual care products donated by Always® and they are distributed to schools and other organizations in packaging donated by International Paper.
To help support the ongoing need for period products, Always® and International Paper took their collective efforts to Washington, D.C. in support of Congresswoman Grace Meng's Menstrual Equity for All Act. The two companies, alongside congressional staff and Feeding America, hosted an event in Washington D.C. on May 12, 2022 to discuss period poverty and worked together to pack 500 period care kits for the local community.
Better Practices, Better Planet is one of the longest standing sustainability initiatives for a U.S. manufacturing industry, established more than a decade ago. The sustainability award winners demonstrate the industry's long-held commitment to improving practices to build a better planet. The 2022 Sustainability Award winners were selected by a judging panel from the Circle Economy, the Department of Energy, GreenBlue, the National Association of Manufacturers, Pure Strategies and the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology.
Visit afandpa.org/priorities/sustainability/sustainability-awards for videos of these award-winning projects.