Our Work To Break Down Barriers

Stewardship means responsibly managing our actions and the resources entrusted to our care in a manner that respects the rights of others.  And, it is essential in creating mutual benefit and long-term success.  Led by our parent company, Koch Industries, we are committed to a robust stewardship framework.

Our work goes beyond business.  We believe in people and seek a system of equal rights and mutual benefit where individuals succeed by helping others succeed.  Based on our knowledge and capabilities, we believe we’re in a unique position to help break down barriers in many areas.

We know that people are often the best sources of the solution, and those closest to an issue are usually the best to address it.  That’s why we have deep, long-standing relationships with numerous organizations and communities helping people to overcome barriers that hold people back.

In addition, our knowledge and experience in many different businesses and communities can also be applied to breaking down barriers in public space, education, disaster relief, housing and equal rights and being a good steward of the environment.

Education:

Every child in America should have equal opportunity and access to a quality education. Georgia-Pacific is helping to narrow the opportunity gap in America’s underserved communities, focusing on STEM programs, technical/trade programs and helping teachers get the resources they need.

GP’s investments in America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) speak to our philosophy that ordinary people can do extraordinary things if provided opportunities that accentuate their natural abilities. Through partnerships with organizations such as UNCF, Morehouse College and Thurgood Marshall College Fund, we have had a generational impact on the overall wealth and wellbeing in minority families and communities by supporting the development of future black entrepreneurs, scholars, financiers, healthcare professionals, educators, politicians, clergy and other professionals.

Our support for local STEM and robotics educational initiatives in rural schools has created additional opportunities for rural, minority students to get a head start on STEM-related careers.

Kids in Need believes every child in America should have equal opportunity and access to a quality education. That’s why we partner with them to help nearly 205,000 teachers and more than 5 million students in some of the most under-resourced communities across the country each year.

Our employees in Atlanta, Ga., are both tutors and mentors for students at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School.

For many years, Georgia-Pacific has partnered with Angelina College in East Texas. The training and education received through these programs have helped trainees advance in their current employment situations and in future career choices. This partnership helps prepare “ready-made employees” who are fully prepared to begin working in various manufacturing positions.

In Sweetwater, Texas we’re investing $200,000 in the local career and technology education program so more than 200 high school students will receive Occupational Health and Safety Administration training and learn more about safe manufacturing operating procedures.

Public Space:

Providing equitable access to public spaces is linked with helping people participate in shared experiences and decision-making, and public activities that build trust and community. From ballfields and butterfly sanctuaries to parks and playgrounds, we provide access to areas across the U.S. where communities can gather together.

children playing by a river

Here are just a few examples of involvement in our communities. The St. Johns River Center in Palatka, Fla., showcases the unique and varied ecosystems of the St. Johns River as well as its unique history, culture, and commerce. In Muskogee, Oklahoma, you can visit the Butterfly House in Honor Heights Park for an up-close and personal experience with the many varieties of native butterflies to the state. In Clatsop County, Ore., our Wauna mill donated 27 acres of property for a park and an additional $20,000 for a playground, picnic area and restrooms. Fishing and camping are encouraged at Lake Georgia-Pacific in Crossett, Ark. The Audubon Society has recognized at least 164 species of birds at this special lake, in which two species are considered rare. In Brewton, Alabama, we contributed $135,000 for the creation of the East Brewton Baseball Park.

Children playing at a park

First Responders and Disaster Relief:

Underserved communities suffer broadly from natural disasters due to location of housing and scarce government support when disaster strikes.  GP works to overcome this barrier by partnering with first responders.  Once every 24 seconds, a fire department responds to an alarm somewhere in the United States. You might think those departments are paid for by the government, but in fact, about two-thirds of them are all-volunteer.

Most are also underfunded. That means many of the firefighters who risk their lives every day to protect people, property and pets are doing their jobs with outdated or otherwise inadequate equipment.

Georgia-Pacific launched its Bucket Brigade program to help support local fire departments and the brave men and women who strive to keep our communities safe.

The McQueeney Fire Department Bucket Brigade

Winds and flooding from storms cause most of the damage to shores and buildings. After a natural disaster strikes, our partner Convoy of Hope is usually among the first responders into impacted communities. They are able to provide immediate relief to people directly impacted by natural disasters. This includes providing food, clean water and hygiene kits. Our products, including toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates and cups are donated to Convoy of Hope to provide that immediate relief.

Forklift unloading disaster supplies

Housing:

The wealth gap between White and Black households in the U.S. is largely due to the disparity in rates of home ownership. Georgia-Pacific provides funds and products that support individuals and their families towards their goal of housing security.

For more than 20 years, we have teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes with qualified families.  We share Habitat’s mission to “build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.”

Group of volunteers

In Wisconsin, we partner with Rebuilding Together to repair homes, revitalize communities and rebuild lives.

Equal Rights:

We embrace equal rights as values critical to the success of our business, as well as communities. We’re breaking down barriers in racial justice, criminal justice reform and small business licensing reform.

We have a long history of supporting the civil rights movement, especially in Atlanta where we are headquartered. This includes working closely with the King family, Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center.

Georgia-Pacific was one of the original founders of the The Center For Civil and Human Rights located in Atlanta. Currently a temporary exhibit called Entitlements can be toured in the Georgia-Pacific gallery. In addition to GP leaders taking on various roles at the Center, we also support the International Human Trafficking Institute and their important work to combat this type of slavery.

A display that reads "Human Rights Learn More"

We’re proud to have a long relationship with The National Council of Negro Women to support empowerment of women of color, their families and communities and focus on STEM, financial literacy, economic stability, entrepreneurship, and social justice initiatives.

100 Black Men of America is the largest African American led mentoring organization in the country.  We support their youth leadership mentoring program and Project SOAR (Student Opportunities, Access and Readiness), a national education program to help improve the education outcomes of Black children.  And, our own Curley Dossman is Chairman Emeritus for this important organization.

A group of people at a 100 Black Men of America event

We support the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation advocacy group.  This civil rights organization is an advocate for voter registration, the U.S. Census and women’s issues.

Over the last year, employees across the company have participated in unconscious bias and human trafficking training and learning sessions.

In addition, over the last few years all employees have been invited to participate in our “Starting the Conversation” series where we discuss important topics like unconscious bias, criminal justice reform, mental health, social injustice, the opioid crisis, LGBTQ+ community and women’s history.

Health:

Georgia-Pacific works with organizations that reduce disparities to health equity.

The United Way supports a variety of critical, life-improving needs in communities across the United States.  This helps create more equitable communities and close disparities wherever they exist.  That’s why we are proud to partner with United Way for decades to help build and grow services in local communities including Atlanta, Savannah, Wauna and many others.  Georgia-Pacific is more than pink, we are committed to ending breast cancer. Our employees volunteer and advocate on behalf of Susan G. Komen by participating in over 80 Komen walks over the past 10 years and donating over $6M to date.

A group of Georgia-Pacific volunteers at The Relay For Life

We proudly sponsor The Relay For Life through the American Cancer Society movement which is dedicated to helping communities attack cancer. Through funds donated, time given, or awareness raised, our communities are teaming up – virtually or in person – to make a difference. When we rally together in the fight against cancer, we can accomplish anything. And we also support the City of Hope Cancer Center as well.

As a long-time supporter of Grady Hospital we’re proud our employees participate in and fundraise for the annual VeloCity bike ride.

Environment:

We strive to be a preferred partner and drive continuous improvement to create sustainable outcomes that benefit society. Our 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. As a member of the American Forest & Paper Association, we are committed to our industry’s sustainability goals, Better Practices, Better Plant.

Read more here about how we work to sustainably manage our business every day.

An ornamental shrub garden sponsored by Georgia-Pacific

Koch Connection:

Our parent company, Koch Industries, is battling injustice as well. We’ve partnered with Koch on criminal justice reform. Our attorneys help others with second chances.

In addition to our work at GP, we are proud to join Koch Industries to support Stand Together a philanthropic community partnering with individuals and organizations to tackle society’s biggest challenges.  Founded in 2003, Stand Together unites 700 business and philanthropic leaders, more than 200 community-based organizations, tens of thousands of K-12 teachers and skilled-trade educators, more than 1,000 professors at 300 universities and millions of grassroots activists.

Our Youth Entrepreneurship program is now part of the Stand Together network and is an empowered community of change-makers.

Former Georgia-Pacific employees from across the country have left GP to share their talents at Stand Together.  We are excited to see how or colleagues will help Stand Together grow.