This post is sponsored by Georgia-Pacific; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recently I had the opportunity to tour the Georgia-Pacific Alabama River Cellulose Mill in Monroe County, Alabama. If you’ve never heard of Georgia-Pacific, I can guarantee that you have either used or seen their products in your favorite stores.
Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers of the most popular brands of bath tissue, tableware, building products, and paper towels such as Quilted Northern®, Dixie®, Sparkle®, and Vanity Fair®. They also manufacturer cellulose specialty fibers, building products, and other related chemicals.
Back To The Tour…
I have to admit when I was initially selected to tour the Alabama River Cellulose Mill (ARC), while I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, I had no idea that I’d walk away from this tour with such a valuable and meaningful experience.
Georgia-Pacific prides itself on earning the right to operate in the communities where their employees live and work and the community of Monroeville is an amazing testament of that fact.
The ARC mill is the largest manufacturing employer in Monroe County providing more than 2400 direct and indirect jobs. What I found even more impressive were the amazing sustainability practices at ARC and the ripple effect that they have on the surrounding community.
More than 90% of the electricity at the facility comes from renewable resources and/or bio-mass. As a result, the mill is a net seller of electrical power in the area!
The most impressive thing about the process at the mill was seeing just how efficiently and sustainably the mill is running. The ARC mill participates in sustainable forest practices and is one of only 13 Koch company sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council for their conservation efforts.
One mill employee explained that they go out to the river each day to ensure that the day-to-day operations aren’t having a negative impact on the environment. Additionally, most of the lumber used by the mill is purchased within a 100-mile radius and encourages reforestation, both natural and planted.
Passion For The Community
Georgia-Pacific considers it a privilege to be able to operate in their communities and they take their commitment to their community very seriously.
While in the city of Monroeville we had the opportunity to tour the Monroe County museum which is home to the historic Old Courthouse Museum. The Old Courthouse Museum was the model for the courtroom used in the film version of Harper Lee’s American Literary Classic To Kill a Mockingbird.
The rich history in the city of Monroeville, coupled with the popularity of To Kill a Mockingbird, made the GP Amphitheater, donated by Georgia-Pacific, the perfect addition to the museum and helps the city continue the tradition of their annual Spring community production of To Kill a Mockingbird.
After our quick tour of the Monroe County Museum, we headed over to the Monroe County Public Library and had the privilege of sitting down and having an intimate lunch with a few prominent community figures such as the Mayor (pictured above) and the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.
It was during this lunch that I was really able to witness the passion that Georgia-Pacific has for the communities that they work in and see first-hand just how much of an impact it has on the community of Monroeville.
In addition to the many jobs that ARC brings to Monroe County, Georgia-Pacific is also the largest taxpayer in the county which in turn helps provide the local school district, local library, and other municipalities with the funds they need to continue to operate effectively within the community.
We also learned that the ARC mill actively supports more than 25 local organizations through their charitable giving – usually being the first sponsor of many of the community’s events. ARC has contributed more than $1 million dollars to Monroe and other surrounding counties over the past 9 years.
All In Alabama
As a mom, I know just how nerve-wracking it can be to think of how your community will be affected when large corporations come to town. However, it’s reassuring to know that the Georgia-Pacific facilities in the state of Alabama have a significant economic impact and provide over 9,300 direct and indirect jobs throughout the state.
It’s clear that the citizens of Monroe County and the city of Monroeville, in particular, have seen immense benefits from having Georgia-Pacific as a neighbor. The economic impact has been able to enrich the quality of life for those in the community in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, the environment, and other community enrichment programs.
After touring the Alabama River Cellulose facility and conversing with notable members of the community, it’s clear that Georgia-Pacific is determined to bring value for not only the customers they serve but also for the employees and individuals in the communities that they operate in. #GPinAL