Sustainability is 'Sexy': 3 Reasons You Need to Stop and Think About It Now
You read the headline correctly: Sustainability is "sexy." Paige Goff, vice president of sustainability at Domtar, explains that there is a growing urgency among some of the younger generations (millennials and Gen Z in particular) to be involved with and support businesses that include sustainability initiatives as part of their mission.
"Sustainability is more sexy than people give it credit for," she says. "Sustainability is not just about the environment. It's about your whole life. ... Sustainability goes throughout your entire mindset and living. So I think it's more holistic than people understand."
It's so important, Goff says, that some individuals in these generations are willing to accept a lower salary if they know that what they're doing is going to have an impact in some way or that they're "giving back."
"Giving back" is exactly what prompted Domtar to partner with PRINTING United Alliance on a recent initiative in conjunction with the PRINTING United Expo, which is heading to Atlanta, Georgia, on Oct. 18-20. As part of the partnership, Domtar has committed to working with local small forest landowners to dedicate land to plant two trees for every registration made for the 2023 Expo.
"Planting trees really is very tactile in the sense of giving back," she explains. "And as many as 32,000 or 34,000 people that will attend this, if we give almost 70,000 trees ... I think that makes a really nice sustainability message. This was a win-win in so many different areas."
Sustainability is not only important for Goff (as the vice president of sustainability), it's crucially important for Domtar as a whole. Goff explains that the company has six different priorities for 2030 and beyond: safety; reduction of water usage; finding a pathway to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; community investment and volunteer hours; source 100% of its fiber from responsibly managed forests; and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Many of those goals tie directly into the company strengthening its sustainable business practices.
So, why should you care about sustainability and consider making changes in your business to meet larger sustainability goals and initiatives in the printing industry? Goff points out three key areas that you need to think about now.