Sustainable from the Beginning
NORPAC was founded in Longview, Washington, with a single mission: to be a world-class newsprint producer supplying quality papers at competitive prices to customers around the world—without compromising our strict environmental and sustainability standards.
Since producing our first reel of paper in 1979, we’ve developed industry-leading packaging and paper products that are both environmentally sustainable and economical. Today approximately 450 employees produce lightweight recycled packaging and graphic papers on three sophisticated paper machines supported by state-of-the-art recycled fiber plants and thermo-mechanical pulping operations. As we approach a half-century in business, we are successfully adapting to enormous changes in society, technology, business and the environment.
We produce our lightweight packaging papers using recycled wastepaper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). All the wood fiber for our graphic papers comes from responsibly managed forests certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Our high-yield pulping and bleaching process is totally chlorine-free, and each of our processes is optimized to ensure a low carbon footprint and efficient water and energy use.
As we have dedicated ourselves to applying sustainability to every step of our manufacturing processes, we have seen the opposite occur in the global economy. Global levels of pollution and greenhouse gases have risen every year, from 19.37 billion metric tons of CO2 in 1980 to 36.44 billion in 2019. We have experienced the effects of this environmental degradation. Rising temperatures have caused deadly heatwaves, catastrophic damage from wildfires and drought, and calamitous hurricanes and tropical storms. It’s clear that our world needs to change.
Paper as a Solution
For decades, consumers have been told that paper was the problem. Going “paperless” was seen as the ecologically responsible and sustainable thing to do. But the truth is that turning from paper to plastics or other materials led to more emissions, pollution, and unrecyclable waste, including hazardous electronic waste.
Unlike paper, plastics are not easily reused or recycled, and their manufacturing process generates carbon emissions and harmful waste. Contrast this with paper, which is fully sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable.
Paper products such as corrugated boxes are recycled at rates above 96%, and nearly 100% of NORPAC’s graphic papers are made from residual chips (waste wood fiber from local lumber mill). Additionally, the forests where this fiber grows benefit our ecological and environmental health in a variety of ways. For instance, forests prevent soil erosion, support healthy watersheds and wetlands, and remove CO2 and other harmful emissions from the atmosphere. Forests are also an expanding resource, since North America’s forests increased in net size by 2% over the last 13 years.
Protecting the Environment to Safeguard Our Communities
At NORPAC, we strongly believe that sustainable manufacturing means a healthier environment and livelihoods for all of us. That is why we ensure all our processes and workflows are healthy and sustainable for our local ecosystems and neighbors, as well as our customers and employees.
Because NORPAC values and encourages innovation at every level of our organization, we’ve built a company for creative thinkers. We promote a team-based approach that reinforces mutual respect, critical thinking and stewardship of a work environment that supports our diverse employees in reaching their full potential.
We are not a global paper manufacturing conglomerate or a massive, publicly owned paper company. As a privately owned firm, we hold values and can make decisions not beholden to shareholders, stock prices or short-term thinking. We know our ultimate responsibility is to our employees and communities, our region and local environment, and foremost, our valued customers. Plus we are based in a small town where our leaders live down the street from our workers and mill. They know their actions affect us all.
We deeply understand the responsibility we owe our region and community both as an economic anchor and an American manufacturer. We know what’s riding on our success—not just corporate revenue and profits, but the economic health of our region and industry.
That is why we have dedicated ourselves to creating the most high-quality and environmentally sustainable paper on the market. We believe you will feel the NORPAC standard of excellence the moment you use our paper, visit our mill or partner with our teams.