Graphic Packaging Teams Participates in TICCIT Programs

Graphic Packaging International (GPI), Atlanta, Ga. USA, reports that during May some 950 of its team members, nationwide, took part in the Paperboard Packaging Council's (PPC) TICCIT program (Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees). The TICCIT program promotes tree planting as a way to highlight that trees grown for paperboard packaging are sustainably managed. 
TICCIT programs engaged more than 16,000 students collectively. Employees, students, and teachers at schools across the country recycled their milk cartons and planted trees during Earth Week and throughout May as part of the programs. GPI team members partnered with the faculty of schools across the nation to teach students about recycling, paper manufacturing, and the lifecycle of trees and paperboard by instructing them on how to plant their own sapling in recycled cartons. Each student also took home a tree to plant.
"Our TICCIT program has grown substantially from its modest beginning in 2009 when we presented to 100 students. We have since educated and planted trees with more than 54,000 students and members of the Girl Scouts of and Boy Scouts," said Andy Johnson, Graphic Packaging's director of government affairs and sustainability, and program creator. "We also developed a TICCIT patch that recognizes scouts who participate in the program and plant a tree," Johnson added.
The TICCIT program is just one part of GPI’s larger sustainability strategy called Vision 2016, aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the use of non-renewable energy, conserve water by reducing water effluent from its mills, and increase the recovery of paper and paperboard by 2020. Since 2008, GPI has achieved a 10.9% companywide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. GPI worked with the city of West Monroe, La., to reduce its water draw from the community aquifer by 5 million gal./day. The Santa Clara, Calif., recycled paperboard mill deployed advanced technologies to remove fiber from its waste stream, reducing waste sent to landfills by 60%, and implemented a heat recovery system that reduced its energy requirements by 10%. The Macon, Ga., mill generates almost all of its energy from renewable resources, with excess energy being placed on the power grid.
"We have deliberately linked our environmental performance to our business goals and values, said Mike Doss, GPI’s chief operating officer. "Commitment to continuous safety and environmental improvement is core to how we operate. Teamwork brings many different ideas to help us address environmental issues creatively, share best practices across our many locations, and make a difference in our communities."