Over the past 12 to 18 months, we have worked with the city of Kalamazoo on our $600 million expansion project on Pitcher Street and we have listened closely to the community’s quality-of-life concerns in the neighborhood.
Graphic Packaging, and the companies that owned the coated recycled board (CRB) mill in this community before us, have been here for well over 100 years. Our employees live and work in this community and we are proud of what we do.
In September 2020, when the commission passed the first version of a tax abatement for our expansion project, we said publicly that we are committed to doing more for the community – in terms of working harder to mitigate potential odors at our operations, continuing our relationship with the local schools and through other community engagement efforts.
At Graphic Packaging, we are aware of the economic and social challenges faced by lower income and minority communities.
In fact, Graphic Packaging adopted a Sustainability program in 2008 that included corporate-wide environmental, social and governance initiatives and outlined our commitment to making the world a better place through efforts to reduce our environmental impact and contribute in positive ways on important social issues.
For all of these reasons, we are pleased to announce that we have agreed to enter into discussions with the city of Kalamazoo to develop a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA).
Graphic Packaging is committed to working with the city to select members of the steering committee by December 1 of this year and is working towards a proposed agreement for review by the Kalamazoo City Commission by April 2022.