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Pop Quiz!

In order to calculate the environmental impact of your packaging choice, you must take into consideration the total life cycle of renewable fibers, type of energy used to manufacture the packaging, actual use of resources and other important factors that affect the overall sustainability equation. Check the questions and answers we've provided here to see if the right numbers are being used for your packaging calculations.

What calculations will give me the most comprehensive and balanced assessment of sustainable packaging?

A) Assessment against the 7 Rs (Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Renew, Recycle,
Revenue, Read)
B) Type of energy used vs. total energy used
C) Responsible use of resources plus how those resources are replenished
D) Product efficiency (performance, shipping costs, flexibility, end use, etc.)
vs. recycled content %
E) Contribution to overall ecological health of the environment
F) Integrity of manufacturer and of industry as part of their commitment to a more sustainable world

Answer: All of the above. When you calculate International Paper's corrugated products in these terms, you'll see that the brown box is the most efficient package to meet your business demands and help to make a greener globe.

Who owns the trees International Paper uses to make brown boxes?

A) International Paper
B) Publicly Owned
C) Privately Owned

Answer: It may surprise you to learn that more than 90% of International Paper's fiber supply in the U.S. comes from privately owned forests, most of which are small and family-owned. Meet some of the families who supply the wood for our products.

What happens to private forestland when a family can't afford to maintain it?

A) It typically gets divided up and becomes fragmented.
B) It typically gets sold off for development.

Answer: Either or both, and when that happens the forests are gone forever. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has identified development and fragmentation as the primary threats to private U.S. forestlands. How can we help avoid this threat? One way is to support a healthy forest product market. A recent USDA study documents that the lowest rates of deforestation occur where forest product markets are strongest. Conversely, regions with weak forest product markets suffer the highest rates of deforestation. Private landowners are the keepers of our forestlands and their ecological benefits. Without a steady and good income, these families are often faced with the difficult choice to sell off all or part of their land for more lucrative development.

What valuable, ecological benefits do we protect by economically supporting privately owned working forests?

A) 53% of U.S. fresh water supply
B) Habitat for nearly 60% of "at-risk" plants and animals in the continental U.S.

Answer: Not only both of the above, but also scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Actually, if you only think about saving trees, you might literally be endangering the forests that provide all of us with fresh air and clean water.

How many trees do private forestland owners plant every day?

A) 4 million
B) 2.7 million
C) 550,000

Answer: 4 million. That adds up to about 1.5 billion trees every year, and it's 3-4 times more than are harvested. But if planting trees doesn't provide an income, landowners can't afford to keep replenishing this valuable natural resource, which not only benefits us environmentally, but also economically.

What economic benefits do every 1,000 acres of private working forests provide?

A) An average of 8 jobs
B) $270,000 in annual payroll
C) $9,850 in annual state taxes (income and severance)
D) $733,000 in annual sales

Answer: Once again, it's all of the above. You have to consider economic contributions in your total sustainability equation. Our industry keeps Americans employed, sometimes supporting entire communities who have worked in the industry for generations.

What does the forest products industry contribute to the U.S. economy?

A) Approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP
B) $175 billion in products annually
C) Jobs for nearly 900,000 American men and women
D) Payroll of approximately $50 billion
E) Among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 48 states

Answer: All of the above. And you might find it interesting to note that the forest products industry's employment levels exceed those in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries.

How much of all U.S. corrugated was recycled in 2010?

A) 85.1%
B) 79.8%
C) 69.7%

Answer: In 2010, 85% of all U.S. corrugated was recycled.
Compare that to only 8% of the total plastic waste generated and 12% of plastics packaging.

Why can't all corrugated boxes be made from 100% recycled material?

A) Strength: As fibers are recycled repeatedly, they degrade, losing strength.
B) Supply: There's not enough recycled fiber to meet demand.
C) Sustainability: If we stop using virgin fibers, our U.S. forests could be endangered as landowners shift to other uses for their land, such as residential, commercial or industrial development.

Answer: Addition of virgin fiber is necessary to balance all of the above.

What percentage of U.S. renewable biomass energy is generated by the forest products industry?

A) 77%
B) 53%
C) 39%

Answer: The forest products industry generates 77% percent of all U.S. renewable biomass energy, making it the nation's largest industrial renewable energy producer. That exceeds the total of all the nation's solar, wind and geothermal energy generation combined.

What percentage of total U.S. stationary industrial emissions is produced by papermaking?

A) 72.5%
B) 5.7%
C) 1.4%

Answer: Only 1.4%. Although papermaking does produce emissions, it's important to note that it's only 1.4% of total U.S. stationary emissions as compared to the 5.7% produced by refineries and the 72.5% produced by power plants. Furthermore, our industry is consistently and aggressively working to reduce our emissions every year.