Principle in Practice:
Smurfit-Stone fully and openly communicates on environmental matters with the financial community, local communities in which we operate, shareholders, and employees.
To encourage this dialogue on the local level, several years ago we began creating Community Advisory Panels (CAPs), which function primarily in communities in which we operate paper mills. A CAP is a panel of local citizens representing educators, media, health-care professionals, responsible environmental groups, and local political leaders. Each panel meets regularly with mill management staff to discuss issues of concern to the community and to receive information on the mill's accomplishments and plans for continued progress in environmental management. Response to the CAP Program has been very positive and has led to increased understanding and cooperation on issues vital to both the mills and their host communities.
Education / Community Involvement / Community Program Support
Many of our facilities across the country are working with local schools and community organizations to help implement educational programs and encourage active participation in protecting the environment. Two projects in Florida help illustrate SSCC's education and community involvement. One project is "Forests for our Future," an interactive display created by the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) in response to a suggestion by a Smurfit-Stone employee's wife. "Forests for our Future" is an interactive exhibit at Innovations at Epcot Center that gives visitors a new appreciation of forest life. While it looks and sounds like a real life forest - complete with waterfall, life-sized trees, rocks, flickering fireflies, and animal sounds - it is designed to provide viewers with an overview of the science and technology of sustainable forestry, recycling, and paper manufacturing.
The second project is in Jacksonville, Florida, where a group called The Recyclers, organized by SSCC's Jacksonville paper mill volunteers to promote recycling through community projects, has so far sold more than 35,000 pounds of recycled paper to the mill. The Recyclers, all children whose parents work at the mill, range in age from 4 to 13 and make up the board of directors of this small but mighty organization. Earth Day is The Recyclers' biggest success. For last year's Earth Day Grocery Bag Project, more than 44,000 paper bags were distributed; students from 81 schools decorated them; 53 stores used them; and 19 local sponsors underwrote the event. These are only two of the countless examples of community outreach and education supported by Smurfit-Stone and our employees.
Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a program of the American Forest Foundation (AFF), implemented through a series of partnerships with state and local agencies, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and businesses. The AFF is a charitable education foundation that develops and administers programs to encourage the long-term stewardship of the environment and natural resources.
PLT works to help students gain awareness and knowledge of the world around them, their place in that world, and their responsibility for its sustainability. The program stimulates students' critical and creative thinking skills, as well as instilling the confidence and commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment.
Smurfit-Stone's Forest Resources Group actively supports PLT across the country. Many of our resource professionals are qualified to facilitate and participate in numerous training sessions for primary and secondary educators. Several of these facilitators also serve on their state PLT state steering committees.