Great communities are what help to make Georgia-Pacific successful. Rome, Georgia, has been pivotal in Georgia-Pacific’s lumber business since 2013. Over 150 employees from the surrounding communities of Rome help the company meet the needs of regional customers.
In 2019 Georgia-Pacific solidified the importance of the Rome lumber facility with a capital improvement investment of $30 million. It included purchasing and installing new equipment, including a new planer, grader, trimmer, and a sorter that serves 39 additional bays. The investment ensures lumber is placed after it is sorted, and there is less backlog, resulting in the production of close to forty percent more lumber. “This capital improvement investment means Georgia-Pacific believes in this site and is committed to this community,” said plant manager Brent Mitchell. “The benefit of these improvements will be felt by our employees, customers, and the community.”
The company is not only committed to being economic stewards to the community of Rome but also environmental stewards of the 75- to 100-mile radius the facility serves. For example, 100% of the wood used at Rome Lumber Mill is locally grown and supports local tree farmers. In addition, much of the fiber is from private and family forest owners who have a legacy of responsible stewardship. “Georgia-Pacific is committed to responsibly using the resources entrusted to us and working with suppliers that share our stewardship values. Local forest owners and suppliers go to great lengths to responsibly grow, harvest, and replant the trees that are part of the Georgia landscape and economy,” said director of stewardship strategy, David Brabham. “We are proud to be part of that forest stewardship story and part of the Rome, Georgia community.”
Georgia-Pacific is committed to a 1:1 philosophy. At least one tree is regrown for each tree it uses. As a result, the number of trees has increased in the United States and forest areas, making forest growth exceed harvest every year since the 1950s. While many regions of the world have risks around forest loss, the United States is one of the few countries increasing forest area based on the 2020 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report. The progress is partly because of the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
Georgia’s forest industry would not exist without the state’s highly productive and sustainable forests. Sixty-six percent of the state’s landscape is covered by forest. It’s one of the top economic drivers and is critical for the economies of rural communities.
Georgia-Pacific strives to be a preferred partner and drive continuous improvement to create outcomes that benefit society. The focus is to make progress daily, improving performance by living a principle of stewardship, embracing creative destruction, improving efficiencies, eliminating waste, finding new ways of meeting needs, and driving conservation activities that leave more resources available to satisfy other needs in society.
Georgia-Pacific has five principles of progress that measure and guide the company’s behavior as they work to help improve lives in Rome.
Georgia-Pacific focuses on conservation because it relies on healthy abundant forests and clean, plentiful water. That is why the company must collaborate with suppliers and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) through conservation to protect water, enhance wildlife, restore vulnerable habitats, and ensure working forests for the future.
Georgia-Pacific challenges how it uses non-renewable resources while innovating to seek viable alternatives.
The manufacturing of the company’s products is resourceintensive, requiring significant fiber, water, energy, chemicals, and labor. As a result, it constantly innovates to control these impacts and drive greater efficiency.
Georgia-Pacific creates and contributes highly valued products to society while minimizing environmental impact. Life-cycle thinking and creative destruction drive the processes because the focus is on choosing the best materials, minimizing the result of our products’ effect, and building in end-of-life options, including recycling and composting.
Taking social responsibility has allowed Georgia-Pacific to connect and contribute to philanthropic, activism, and charitable goals by supporting responsible and ethical practices. It celebrates the uniqueness of each individual and believes diversity enables the company to work with the community of Rome to identify opportunities, solve problems, and create greater value for others. Georgia-Pacific believes in Rome and is committed to the lumber mill and the communities it supports. The dedication is seen through Georgia-Pacific’s economic investments and its efforts through environmental stewardship.
For more information on Georgia Pacific, visit gp.com.