Recent Industry Accolades

People applauding award winners

The paper industry is a long-time leader in innovation and sustainability initiatives. The many awards it receives are a testament to its commitment in these and other areas. Many of these initiatives are unglamorous and invisible to the public, but have significant impact for the environment, corporate social responsibility and the communities where they do business. While industry members earned accolades all year, some recent ones are featured on our Industry Good Works page. Please also share your good works with us by emailing them to

Newsweek Names Six Paper Industry Companies as America’s Most Responsible Companies

Graphic Packaging, Greif, International Paper, Packaging Corp. of America, Sonoco and WestRock were named America's Most Responsible Companies by Newsweek in December 2022 based on their environmental, social and corporate governance performance found in publicly available corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, sustainability reports, as well as the results from a third-party independent survey. International Paper was also named to FORTUNE magazine's list of World's Most Admired Companies.

Greif Recognized for Corporate Social Responsibility

Greif was recognized with an "A-" rating in climate change by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project - a non-profit organization that runs the global disclosure system for entities to disclose and manage their environmental impact. The rating places Greif in the "Leadership" category and reflects the company's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and effectively manage its climate risks and opportunities.

Sappi Recognized as ESG Leader in 2022 SEAL Business Sustainability Awards

Sappi North America Inc. earned a SEAL Business Sustainability Award for its Ideas that Matter grant program which honors Sappi’s leadership, innovation and commitment to sustainable business practices. Sappi restructured the program to have entrants align their submissions with at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and focus on addressing social, environmental, healthcare and community issues.

American Forest and Paper Association’s 2022 Sustainability Award Winners Represent Safety, Water Recycling and Food Packaging Innovations   

Green Bay Packaging: Net-Zero Water Use at Green Bay Mill

Green Bay Packaging’s Green Bay Mill is the first-ever in the world to obtain third-party validation through UL Solutions for net-zero water use. This mill’s circular water system is a model water system driving next-generation water management. Returning more water than they draw out, Green Bay Packaging is helping to advance water resilience for the Fox River and surrounding community. ​

Georgia-Pacific: Juno Technology

Georgia-Pacific's Juno Waste Diversion Technology captures recyclable material previously destined for landfill or incineration because of coatings or food contamination. Up to 90% of what is processed through Juno can now be diverted from landfills, recycled and made into new paper products.​

WestRock: Sustainable Ready Meals

WestRock is advancing the circular value chain with their new innovation, Sustainable Ready Meals: Turnkey Solution. WestRock teams across the globe, in three locations, collaborated to develop a paper packaging system for the readymade food industry. Sustainable Ready Meals uses recyclable fiber-based wrap and shelve-ready case pack, resulting in a 90% reduction in plastic per food bowl. ​

International Paper: Fighting Period Poverty in Our Communities

In 2021, 13 International Paper facilities hosted volunteer packing events with employees, providing almost 5,000 period care kits in their communities. This year, more than 45 facilities participated distributing more than 25,000 kits across the U.S. and globally. International Paper partnered with Procter & Gamble's Always brand this spring to raise awareness for period poverty, providing period care kits to women and girls around the globe.