News and Awards
GP Packaging & Cellulose Employees Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
May 17, 2014
Atlanta-based employees of the GP Packaging & Cellulose segment and the company's legal department volunteered their time on a recent Saturday to help build a Habitat for Humanity home in the Atlanta area. Employees worked alongside the homeowner to paint and install exterior finishing. This year's build marked GP's 25th Habitat for Humanity home build.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit habitat.org.
Palatka Mill Announces Kraft Machine Paper Machine Upgrade
June 20, 2014
PALATKA, Fla. -- Georgia-Pacific’s Palatka Pulp and Paper Operations announced today that it will be investing approximately $20 million to upgrade major components of its No. 1 kraft paper machine. Planned upgrades will allow the mill to manufacture higher quality paper with more efficient utilization of natural resources.
The No. 1 kraft machine produces brown paper primarily used in the manufacture of bags and multiwall sacks used for packaging sugar, pet foods and numerous other products. Upgrades are expected to be completed in the spring of 2015.
The Palatka Mill’s No. 1 kraft paper machine began operation in 1948. This will be the largest investment in the Palatka Operations kraft mill since Georgia-Pacific acquired Hudson Pulp and Paper in 1980.
The Palatka Mill operates two kraft paper machines, three paper machines manufacturing paper for bath tissue and paper towels, and a number of converting operations producing finished paper products ready for customers. Currently employing more than 900 area residents, the mill has been a key economic contributor in Putnam, Clay and St. Johns counties since it began operation in 1947.
Pat Boushka Speaks at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's Annual Meeting
May 9, 2014
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s annual meeting brings together some of UNICEF’s strongest supporters and partners – from foundations to individuals to corporations. This year’s annual May meeting was held in New York City. Pat Boushka, President – GP Cellulose, had the honor of presenting GP Cellulose’s Green Hand™ Project as a part of the U. S. Fund’s 2013 Annual Highlights Presentation panel. The Highlights Presentations showcased creative new ventures that are helping advance UNICEF’s mission: the survival, protection and development of children worldwide. To learn more about the Green Hand™ Project, click here.
Big Island Brings Back American Chestnut
April 23, 2014
As part of Georgia-Pacific’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and support of the repopulation of the American chestnut tree, GP employees from the Big Island, Va., containerboard mill, alongside representatives from the American Chestnut Foundation, planted 60 American chestnut seedlings on designated Big Island property recently.
The American chestnut nearly vanished in the early 1900's from a fast-spreading fungal disease. In 2011, GP and the American Chestnut Foundation planted 560 seedlings at the same location. However, some of the seedlings died due to mold after getting a lot of rain last summer.
Dennis Austin, fiber manager at the containerboard plant, told media on-site at the event that he feels an obligation to help the species make a comeback and is optimistic about Big Island’s efforts.
GP Makes Donation To Chamber Of Commerce
April 3, 2014
The Choctaw Sun-Advocate reports “Kelvin J. Hill, Vice-President of Georgia-Pacific’s Naheola operations, recently presented a $5,000 donation to Virginia Loftis, executive director of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce, in support of the organization’s operating budget. Georgia-Pacific officials said that the donation is part of the millʼs commitment to support the communities where the mill operates and their belief that a strong Chamber of Commerce adds value to the community.”
Georgia-Pacific Leaf River Cellulose Recognized for Safety Excellence
March 31, 2014
Georgia-Pacific’s Leaf River Cellulose mill recently achieved a significant safety milestone when it celebrated operating more than 1 million work hours without a lost time accident. In recognition of the achievement, Georgia-Pacific Chief Executive Officer and President Jim Hannan presented employees with the company’s CEO Safety Excellence award at a celebration lunch on March 26.
“One thing that’s consistent at facilities like Leaf River is that the commitment to safety is visible when you walk into the plant and when you talk to employees,” said Hannan. “That commitment is seen across the facility – not just in safety, but in every aspect of the operation.”
Mill General Manager Arlis Hicks credits employees with not only being aware of working safely at all times, but of proactively looking for potential safety risks and working to eliminate them. “Working safely doesn’t just happen; it’s something we focus on every day. We have a dedicated group of employees that are not only committed to safety in the workplace, they also carry it home to their families,” he said. “Achieving this award is a significant milestone for our employees.”
This is the fourth time Leaf River Cellulose has earned the CEO Safety Excellence Award with previous recognitions in 2006, 2007 and 2011.
The Leaf River mill in New Augusta is one of six facilities in the GP Cellulose business which supplies fluff, market and filter pulps to customers globally. GP Cellulose’s fluff pulps are used for a variety of absorbent applications, including diapers and feminine hygiene products, as well as air-laid nonwovens, food-grade absorbent pads and a variety of specialty applications. Georgia-Pacific employs more than 1,600 employees in Mississippi, including more than 300 at the Leaf River mill in New Augusta.
Georgia-Pacific’s CEO Safety Excellence Award recognizes the company’s manufacturing facilities that complete 1 million work hours or 24 consecutive months without a lost workday injury while focusing on leading indicators through the company’s Risk Management System. This award is part of the company’s disciplined approach to operating facilities in an efficient, safe and environmentally sound manner. Georgia-Pacific, like all Koch companies, has a strong culture of safety and corporate responsibility and strives for continuous improvement.
Pictured above from left to right:Jason Dolbear, Frankie Yates, Lisa Tribble, Chase Thornton, Jim Hannan, Delissa Bunnell, Fenton Pope, Tony Welford, Brian Hill and Don Chivas.
USDA Announces Paper Check-off Board Members
March 10, 2014
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced via news release the appointment of the Paper Check-off Board members. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture makes the initial appointment of check-off boards, which are drawn from industry nominations and solicitation of interest by USDA.
“We welcome the appointment of the Paper Check-off Board members. This announcement paves the way for the Board to begin its work in shaping the new promotional program intended to maintain and expand markets for paper and paper-based packaging,” said Paper Check-off Panel Chairman John Williams, president and CEO of Domtar.
The Paper Check-off Board is representative of the various geographic regions for domestic manufacturers of the covered products, as well as importers. The individuals appointed to serve on the Paper Check-off Board are: Michael P. Doss (Graphic Packaging International); Bernd Eikens (UPM Paper ENA); Christian Fischer (Georgia-Pacific); Rodger D. Fuller (Sonoco Products Company); Brian E. Janki (Glatfelter); Mark W. Kowlzan (Packaging Corporation of America); Jennifer L. Miller (Sappi Fine Paper North America); Julie Schertell (Neenah Paper Inc.); Steven Voorhees (RockTenn); Michael A. Weinhold (Verso Paper Corp.); John D. Williams (Domtar); and Ann B. Wrobleski (International Paper).
“We appreciate the efforts of USDA throughout the process and look forward to working with them as we begin the journey of the Paper Check-off,” said Williams.
USDA published the final rule in January, which established the program and assessment calculations that began on March 1, 2014. Assessments are invoiced on a quarterly basis beginning March 30. The first meeting of the Paper Check-off Board of Directors is scheduled to take place March 25th, 2:30-6:00 p.m. in New York.* The board will begin the foundational work to initiate the program and will elect its officers.
For more information about the program, visit www.papercheckoff.com.
Innovation Institute® Recognized in Atlanta Magazine
February 6, 2014
Trendy Atlanta hot spots are a common theme in Atlanta magazine, a monthly publication that covers
Atlanta area commerce and local businesses, food, entertainment and the art scene. But who would have thought that Georgia-Pacific’s Innovation Institute® in Norcross, Ga., would be featured as a local entrepreneurial hot spot, among others, in Atlanta magazine’s February issue.
The Innovation Institute can take ideas from their concept to design to testing to the shelf, all under one roof. For example, if a company wants to reduce its packaging within its shipping process without damaging its product, the Innovation Institute can brainstorm, design, prototype, test, and analyze the new box in one facility, saving time and improving efficiency.
Check out the article “Inside Track,” on the magazine’s website.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF President & CEO Visits GP Cellulose
November 21, 2013
Georgia-Pacific Cellulose is teaming with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help UNICEF improve water, sanitation and hygiene programs in China, and as part of this new relationship, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund, Caryl Stern, visited GP's Atlanta campus to share her experiences and talk about the partnership. Following the presentation, Ms. Stern signed copies of her book, “I Believe in Zero,” that shares inspiring stories about mothers coming together around the world to make a change.
GP Cellulose is currently supporting UNICEF through an initiative called the Green Hand™ Project, which will help improve conditions in schools for approximately 15,000 school children in China. To learn more about UNICEF and the GP Cellulose Green Hand™ Project, click here.
Georgia-Pacific Wins 2013 AF&PA Sustainability Award
November 4, 2013
The American Forest & Paper Association presented Georgia-Pacific with a 2013 Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Sustainability Award at the association’s annual meeting last week.
Georgia-Pacific was honored with the Leadership in Sustainability Water Award for a water use reduction project at the Brunswick, Ga., cellulose mill. Click here to read a Q&A with Jay Wright, manager of compliance and technology at Brunswick’s GP Cellulose mill, as he shares some of the details of the award-winning project.
“Georgia-Pacific is consistently a leader in innovation,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “Through best practices in manufacturing technology, Georgia-Pacific has achieved water use reductions that are particularly impactful in coastal Georgia, where the region’s primary drinking-water source is threatened in some areas by saltwater intrusion.”
This marks GP’s second consecutive AF&PA Sustainability Award. The company was honored with the “Leaders in Sustainability” energy efficiency award for a comprehensive energy management program for its manufacturing facilities.
The Brunswick project involved Georgia-Pacific installing a single-line bleach plant to replace three older pulp bleaching processes. The upgrade project resulted in a reduction in overall groundwater use of nearly 10 million gallons per day, or 30 percent of the mill’s total daily use, since the new equipment became fully operational in the first quarter of 2012. The project also allows for a smaller energy footprint and lower air emissions from energy production.
“We’re honored to be recognized for this sustainability project and as a leader in innovative practices,” said Jim Hannan. “We’re always focused on opportunities to apply new process improvements that will help us conserve our natural resources and grow our business at the same time.”
The AF&PA Sustainability Awards are designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives, and are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories.
For more information about Georgia-Pacific’s Brunswick Cellulose Operation winning the 2013 AF&PA Sustainability Award, click here.
Two Fire Departments Awarded 'Brigade' Grants from GP Containerboard Mills
November 1, 2013
This year, a record 55 fire departments will receive Georgia-Pacific's Bucket Brigade grants totaling $270,000, the largest annual amount given since our program began in 2006. We’re proud that the program has now reached the $1.25 million mark in cash grants to fire departments that serve Georgia-Pacific's facility communities across the country.
In 2013, two GP Containerboard mills worked together with the Georgia-Pacific Foundation to contribute a total of $20,000 to their local communities' fire departments:
- Cedar Springs
- Early County Volunteer Fire Department
- Monticello Volunteer Fire Department
The grants, generally ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, are based on need and are funded by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and local Georgia-Pacific facilities. The fire stations receiving grants this year spanned 21 states and requested funds to replace critical items such as worn out protective clothing, cracked helmets, aging hoses and nozzles and hand-held radios. This infographic shows how much it costs to train and equip a fire fighter.
Watch this video to hear more from our past Bucket Brigade winners and how the grants have made an impact in their communities.
GP Cellulose Attends SINCE 2013
October 30, 2013
Thank you to all attendees who visited our GP Cellulose booth at SINCE 2013. This tradeshow was a great opportunity to showcase our innovative products such as Golden Isles CO™ Fluff Pulp and our full service customer technical support. We are also excited to share the announcement of our new relationship with UNICEF through the Green Hand™ Project.
The knowledge share we had through our many meetings with customers, prospective customers, and industry experts was very beneficial. We look forward to INDEX in April 2014 and hope to see you there.
Cedar Springs Operations Hosts Water Ways Festival
October 21, 2013
Georgia-Pacific Cedar Springs held its 7th annual Water Ways Festival at Kolomoki Mounds State Park on Wednesday, Oct. 16. GP Cedar Springs organizes and sponsors the event in order to promote water conservation and stewardship and emphasize the importance of water to all living things.
This year’s Water Ways Festival hosted over 200 fourth grade students from Early County Elementary School and Southwest Georgia Academy. There were 35 teachers, presenters and volunteers who helped lead 10 learning stations that provided fun, educational displays and lessons for the children. Another highlight of the event was the pontoon boat rides on the lake with the Kolomoki park staff.
GP Cedar Springs' employees hosted a station that demonstrated how water is used in the paper-making process and explained GP’s approach to responsibly using natural resources, including water and trees. Kim Rumler, a Cedar Springs process engineer said, “It is important to me that our company practices good environmental stewardship and I want to share that message with the community, particularly with our young people.”
Jennifer Griffin, an Early County Elementary School teacher, said, “We thank Georgia-Pacific for sponsoring a fun, educational experience that expands what we do in the classroom to teach children about our environment and natural resources, most especially water.”
Click here to see local TV coverage of the event by WTVY.
GP Corrugated Attends PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo
October 20, 2013
GP Corrugated participated in this year’s PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La. This year marked the 13th year that GP Corrugated exhibited at this show to showcase our produce packaging solutions. Conventions such as the PMA Fresh Summit offer our sales teams the opportunity to connect with customers in a unique manner outside of their daily routines and better understand industry-driven trends.
For more information about the PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, including the 2014 date and location, click here.
GP Cellulose Supports UNICEF Water and Sanitation Programs
for Schools in Rural China
October 14, 2013
According to UNICEF, more than 25 percent of rural Chinese schools lack hand washing facilities and 17 percent have no water supply at all. The scarcity of adequate sanitation results in illness and missed school days, especially for girls.
To address these needs, GP Cellulose announced it is supporting UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programs in China through an initiative called Green Hand™ Project, which will help improve conditions in schools for approximately 15,000 children.
Through a two-year commitment, GP Cellulose will donate $1 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for every metric tonne of Golden Isles® fluff pulp purchased by its customers in China, with a maximum contribution of $500,000. These donations will help improve water and sanitation facilities and support hygiene and nutrition programs in Chinese schools in the provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi and Xinjiang.
By working with UNICEF on this issue, we believe we can help bring about change and build stronger, more sustainable communities where we and our customers do business.
"We are extremely grateful for GP Cellulose's campaign to support community-led efforts to create safe, sanitary and sustainable schools in China," said Tim Sutton, Deputy Representative for UNICEF China. "This will allow us to move closer to the goal of scaling up good water and sanitation practices in schools in cooperation with the Chinese government."
At GP Cellulose, we believe good business isn't just about growth, it's about creating value. We believe in growing in a way that benefits our customers, our company and society as a whole.
Cedar Springs Operations Celebrates Rich History, Golden Anniversary
October 7, 2013
Georgia-Pacific’s Cedar Springs operations marked its 50th anniversary on Friday, October 4 with a special celebration honoring past and present employees.
Located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, the mill began as Great Southern Paper Company and produced its first roll of linerboard on September 30, 1963. Today, Cedar Springs is Georgia-Pacific’s largest containerboard facility and is recognized across the globe as a key, quality producer of a wide array of light and heavy weight kraft linerboard and corrugating medium, serving box packaging customer in the United States and internationally.
Among the 600-plus current employees, retirees and guests in attendance at the golden anniversary event were 36 members of the start-up crew who worked to make the first roll of paper at what was then hailed as the world’s largest containerboard mill.
An important milestone was achieved on December 25, 1987 when Cedar Springs’ employees first produced one million tons of paper in a single year – a world record at the time. A million tons of paper would fill over 15,000 rail cars that would line up 170 miles long if in one continuous train. The mill has since marked numerous other safety, production and environmental achievements.
The facility was acquired by Georgia-Pacific in 1990. Currently, the Cedar Springs operation has about 520 employees and operates two linerboard machines and one medium machine to make paper for packaging and shipping containers. The machines are approximately the width of a two-lane highway. If stretched end to end, daily production would reach from Cedar Springs to Bangor, Maine (about 1,500 miles).
Today the Cedar Springs facility is Early County’s largest employer and tax payer, and contributes to many community organizations, including the local school system, public library, chamber of commerce, Kolomoki Mounds State Park, and others.
Georgia-Pacific Completes Acquisition of Buckeye Technologies Inc.
August 23, 2013
For decades, Georgia-Pacific products have been a part of life at home and away from home, and now we will have a presence in many new and exciting products that may surprise you.
Georgia-Pacific has completed the acquisition of Buckeye Technologies Inc., which we announced in April. The acquisition was valued at approximately $1.5 billion, including debt.
Georgia-Pacific acquired all of the outstanding stock of Buckeye Technologies and now owns its five manufacturing facilities, global sales offices and headquarters. As Buckeye becomes a wholly owned subsidiary, former Buckeye employees (approximately 1,200) are now Georgia-Pacific employees.
Specialty fibers and nonwovens made by teams at these operations are found in products such as LCD screens, high-performance tires, sausage casings, thickeners for food, pharmaceutical and industrial applications and filtration.
Jim Hannan, CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific, said “We are very pleased to welcome the talented Buckeye employees to our company. They, along with Buckeye Technologies’ assets, innovation capabilities, advanced technologies, and specialty fibers and nonwovens businesses, provide a significant platform for continued growth and success for our cellulose and consumer products businesses.”
“We are excited to finalize the acquisition,” said John Crowe, chairman and CEO, Buckeye Technologies. “This combination will be very good for a lot of people. Many Buckeye employees will have more opportunities; customers will have more options; community members will continue to have a company with a record of contributing in communities where they operate and, of course, shareholders get a very nice return.”
For more information regarding this acquisition, please read the press release here.
GP Toledo Hosts 3rd Annual Containerboard Boat Race
August 17, 2013
At Georgia-Pacific Containerboard, our commitment runs deep. Our commitment to our communities shined through as GP Containerboard’s Toledo, Ore., mill hosted its third annual containerboard boat race at the Port of Toledo in conjunction with the Port’s annual wood boat show.
The Toledo mill provided contestants with containerboard boat kits and a list of boat building rules such as “The entire hull substructure and seating MUST be made of non-coated corrugated containerboard,” and “ONLY seams and joints on the boat can be taped (not the entire boat).” Skepticism surrounds the idea that containerboard can float; however, by combining the contestants' creative design techniques and engineering skills with the strength and durability of GP Toledo's containerboard, most boats floated long enough to paddle a course the length of two football fields.
Port manager at the Port of Toledo, Bud Shoemake, commented on the GP Containerboard race saying that "It has become a highlight for our show in three short years, growing from one boat the first year to 21 boats plus a barge this year. The Port of Toledo’s waterfront is adjacent to the mill, and we are happy to have GP represented at our show."
For those interested in participating in the 2014 GP Containerboard Boat Race, please send an email to Toledo.BoatRace@gapac.com.
First Place: Toledo Boat House 1
Brandon B. and Jake B., Lebanon OR
Second Place: Kokeel
Justus D. and Phillip L., Toledo, OR
Third Place: Community Services Consortium 1
Robert R. and Shania R., Newport, OR
First Place: Kokeel
Larry and Justus Davis, Toledo, OR
Second Place: GP-W
Mike Reed and Willie Worman
Third Place: GP-K
Toby Landis and Karl Schumacher
First Place: Georgia-Pacific
Second Place: Olalla Center
Heather Fortner, Bruce Cowen and students of the Toledo Summer Kids Club
First Place: HMS Dongle
GP Cellulose’s Brunswick Mill to Celebrate 75th Anniversary
July 11, 2013
On July 20, 2013, GP Cellulose’s Brunswick Mill will celebrate 75 years of continuous operations and success. The Brunswick Cellulose mill excels in capital reinvestment, technological and environmental advances and the production of world class Golden Isles® fluff pulp used by many of the world’s leading manufacturers of absorbent products.
The idea for a paper mill in Brunswick was born in 1929 and is considered the brainchild of George Mead (Mead Corporation) and Thomas McCabe (Scott Paper Company). By spring of 1936, Mead and McCabe had selected Brunswick as the site of the new paper mill and mill production began in 1938. The location choice was simple: good labor supply, vast forest reserves, proximity to ocean and rail lines and a cooperative community.
Those factors, so important in the 1930’s, are as valid today as then. To celebrate the mill’s success and the community that has made it possible, GP Cellulose will host a 75th Anniversary celebration with attendance by community leaders, employees, their families and retirees from as far back as 1941.
GP Packaging Employee Wins SFI Photo Contest
April 26, 2013
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) was created in 1994 to be one of the U.S. forest sector’s contributions to the vision of sustainable development. Georgia-Pacific is a founding/charter member of the SFI. Today the organization is an ‘independent, non-profit organization responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving a sustainable forestry certification program that is internationally recognized and is the largest single forest standard in the world.’ GP does not own any forest lands, but this organization helps to ensure that the vendors that we partner with run their organization in a manner that is in line with our beliefs for maintaining sustainability.
In 2013, the SFI hosted a national photo contest, and GP’s very own employee, Curtis Wheat, won in the category of “SFI Labeled Products.” For the contest, photos could be entered in one of six categories that included:
- Scenic Forestry
- SFI Labeled Products
Wheat works as a packaging designer at the Waxahachie, Texas packaging plant. The Waxahachie plant serves a diversified base of customers in the Southwestern United States and Mexico with innovative products, consistent quality, and dependable service and delivery. Wheat’s dedication to quality photography demonstrates GP Packaging’s commitment to quality in everything we do.
Being environmentally responsible is an essential part of our DNA at GP. We are constantly working to minimize any adverse impact on the environment. To read more about Georgia-Pacific’s long history with being a sustainable company visit our sustainability website.
GP Cellulose Attends IDEA 13
April 25, 2013
Thanks to all attendees who visited the GP Cellulose booth at IDEA 13. This tradeshow was a great opportunity to share our innovative products with the industry, such as Golden Isles CO™ Fluff Pulp. We benefitted greatly from the knowledge shared through our meetings with current customers, prospective customers, and industry experts. We look forward to our next tradeshow in October 2013 and hope to see you there.
GP Cellulose To Acquire Buckeye Technologies Inc.
April 24, 2013
Buckeye Technologies Inc. (NYSE:BKI) and Georgia-Pacific LLC today announced that they have reached a definitive agreement for Georgia-Pacific to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Buckeye Technologies’ common stock for $37.50 per share in cash. The transaction, subject to completion, is valued at approximately $1.5 billion, including debt.
For more information regarding this acquisition, please read the press release here.
Message from GP Cellulose President, Pat Boushka
Training for an Emergency
The Brunswick News, February 8, 2013
Wearing hazardous materials suits, Georgia Pacific Plant Emergency Organization team members Steve Tupper, left, and Danny Smith work on a hazardous leak scenario during training at the City of Brunswick training site Thursday. Twelve members of the Georgia Pacific emergency team began a week of hazardous materials, fire and rescue training at the site Monday. Four shifts will spend a week each on their annual training with the city fire department.
GP Corrugated Supports CPS Initiative to Look Closer at Produce Safety
April 5, 2012
The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) is a collaborative partnership that leverages the combined expertise of industry, government and the scientific and academic communities to focus on providing research needed to continually enhance food safety. This level of collaboration allows CPS to fill the knowledge gaps on produce food safety.
Read more about GP Corrugated Supporting CPS
Read about other Georgia-Pacific news.