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Principles in Practice

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© 2001
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation

April 2001





Ontonagon CAP

For the third year in a row, the Ontonagon, Michigan, mill has attained the status of Clean Corporate Citizen (C3). The C3 designation is awarded by the governor of Michigan and the State Department of Environmental Quality to facilities that comply with all areas of environmental permits and have an environmental management system in place. Ontonagon is the first and only paper mill in Michigan to quality for C3 status.

As part of Ontonagon's environmental management system, a Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP) was created and meets at the mill once every quarter. CAP members represent all areas of the community, including local city and county government, school systems, the medical community, the press, local environmental groups, and business. The panel's role is to listen to what the Ontonagon mill is doing regarding the environment and to provide input to the mill on the environmental interests and concerns of the local community.

Members of the Ontonagon Citizens Advisory Panel took a tour to learn about mill operations.

Bird Sanctuary

One of the most popular spots in Missoula, Montana, is a pulp mill, which attracts scores of visitors each year. The attraction? Bird watching. The wastewater holding ponds that dominate 800 acres alongside Smurfit-Stone's Frenchtown pulp mill provide refuge for 196 species of birds, migrants, and resident breeders. The ponds, where the pulp mill stores wastewater until it is released to the Clark Fork River during high water each spring, contain as much nesting habitat as nearby national wildlife sanctuaries and an even better vantage point for viewing.

Four weekends each year, bird watchers visit the holding ponds. Each of the four expeditions brings a different collection of species, ranging from western sandpipers and shorebirds to unusual numbers and varieties of waterfowl.

Smurfit-Stone is providing $45,000 for habitat improvement. Volunteers have put up fences to keep cows away, planted cottonwoods to improve the streamside vegetation, and begun flooding a low-lying meadow with the mill's cooling water. As a results of all these efforts, the habitat improvement project will create or enhance hundreds more acres of wetland habitat at the mill.

Planting Brook Trout

The Ontonagon, Michigan, mill has been awarded the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' "Partner in Resource Conservation Award" for preserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural resources of the State of Michigan. One of the projects that earned Ontonagon the award was its participation in an exciting wildlife rehabilitation project to reestablish coastal brook trout on the south shore of Lake Superior.

Thirty thousand fingerlings were obtained from a Canadian fish hatchery and carried by local sports enthusiasts and mill volunteers in five-gallon containers through wooded terrain to the planting location on the Little Carp River. The trout will not only attract sport-fishing enthusiasts but will also assist in restoring the ecological balance along the south shore of Lake Superior.

Volunteers prepared containers to transport fingerlings to rehabilitate the Little Carp River near Ontonagon, Michigan.

Principle in Practice:
To communicate openly with all stakeholders on environmental issues

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.

Next - To help develop public policies on environmental health and safety issues