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TAPPI plants trees to commemorate its 100th anniversary

By Samantha Geier

Elaine Emory and Craig McKinney, TAPPI
Photo courtesy of Clayton Brannon

Elaine Emory and Craig McKinney, TAPPI

To help celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2015, TAPPI, along with RockTenn, Valmet, TREES Atlanta, and members of the Dekalb County community, planted 100 trees in Decatur, Georgia. Each tree represents a year that TAPPI members in the global pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and related industries have worked to sustain forests and parks.

“Trees are the most abundant, renewable, natural resource on our planet and throughout the years our industry has been dedicated to sustainable forest management,” said TAPPI's Ben Hopper who organized the event. “Our goal was to celebrate the efforts put forth by industry, TAPPI, and its members, by doing what we do best—planting trees!”

More than 40 volunteers planted the trees on Ponce de Leon Avenue, between Scott Boulevard and Sam’s Crossing. The project was made possible by contributions from the TAPPI Foundation, RockTenn, Valmet and other individual and corporate sponsors who donated a total of $10,000 to provide the trees and other materials.

L-R Chris Luettgen of Georgia Tech Bill Bohn of Valmet Kevin Hudson of RockTenn India Woodson of City of Decatur
Photo courtesy of Clayton Brannon

L-R Chris Luettgen of Georgia Tech,
Bill Bohn of Valmet, Kevin Hudson of
RockTenn, India Woodson of City of

Volunteers who participated in the event included Chris Luettgen, vice chairman of the TAPPI board of directors; Bill Bohn, president of Valmet North America; Kevin Hudson, vice president of forest resources at RockTenn, and Kate Conner, director of development and marketing at Trees Atlanta. Susan Pierce Cunningham of Trees Atlanta, instructed the volunteers on the proper methods of tree planting before they broke into groups to dig holes, trim root balls, mulch and water. Trees Atlanta will tend the trees for the next two years including weekly watering, mulching, pruning and weeding.

In addition to honoring its 100th anniversary, TAPPI initiated the event to increase awareness of how the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and related industries help sustain well-managed forests.

According to the US Forest Service, despite the fact that the U.S. population has tripled in the last 100 years, the amount of U.S. forestland has remained about the same at 750 million acres. Much of this is due to technical advancements and sustainability efforts by TAPPI members in the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and related industries.

Trees Atlanta
Photo courtesy of Clayton Brannon

According to Two Sides North America, a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainability and dispelling common misconceptions, the U.S. paper industry encourages forest sustainability through their purchase and use of certified wood fiber and by promoting sustainable forest management policies and practices around the globe. Additionally, by providing a dependable market for responsibly grown fiber, the paper industry encourages landowners to continue managing their forestland instead of selling it for development or other non-forest uses.

Trees Atlanta was founded in 1985 to address Atlanta’s tree loss, protect its forests, and create new green space. Empowered by its community of volunteers, it serves the metro Atlanta area, and has grown to become one of Atlanta’s most widely known and supported non-profit organizations.

TAPPI, based in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is the leading association for the technical advancement of the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and related industries. Its members include technical and management professionals in more than 60 countries including many working in Atlanta companies and organizations. To learn more about the TAPPI Trees project, contact Ben Hopper at TAPPI at:

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