To our shareholders
India and IP APPM have given me a warm welcome since moving here in April of 2017.Working on my 20th year with International Paper I came to India with some previousexperience with IP APPM since 2012. Former Chairman & Managing Director RamSwaminathan and I had a good transition during April and on behalf of InternationalPaper I thank Ram for all that he has done for IP APPM and wish him well for his future.Moving forward I believe that IP APPM is well positioned to continue improvingperformance and creating long term value for all our stakeholders.
I want to share with you some key strategic principles and philosophies that we jointlyshare in IP.
The IP Way: doing the right things in the right ways for the right reasons all ofthe time. For years this statement held true for how we at International Paper gotresults by meeting our customer needs improving our operational excellence and developingour people. The IP Way Forward is how we go beyond just doing the right things and defineshow we will meet our commitments to our shareholders customers employees andcommunities. The IP Way Forward is our strategic framework for achieving our vision to beamong the most successful sustainable and responsible companies in the world. It includessustaining forests investing in people improving the planet creating innovativeproducts and delivering inspired performance.
I'd like to introduce the IP Way Forward framework to our shareholders and describe howthese principles are the basis for how we deliver value.
You will find more details and great examples of our strategic drivers in action inpages 6 to 15.
Our business depends on the sustainability of forests. Our products require fiber andthe sustainable use and re-growth of forests are vital to our Company's long termexistence. IP APPM's farm forestry initiatives are contributing to the sustainable use andre-growth of forests by partnering with farmers to plant and cultivate healthy plantationforests. Over the past 25 years we have planted more than 1.76 billion saplings and haveadded 252500 hectares of land to productive plantation forest land. This strategysupports jobs improves the environment and supports our long term need for sustainablefiber.
Investing in people is the foundation of our success. First and foremost we mustensure the safety of employees contractors and visitors. In 2016 we implemented the useof Safety Leading Indicators to focus on hazards and unsafe behaviors to reduce risksbefore they lead to an accident.
Excellent leadership is needed to engage and inspire employees to achieve their best.Highly engaged employees deliver the best results. We work to develop the capabilities ofboth our leaders and our employees. Highly engaged employees with excellent leadershipwill result in a safer workplace higher productivity and better financial results.
There is great need for support in the communities where we live and work. IP APPMemployees have given their time money and leadership to support education of poorchildren who are not in a position to pay the school fees and also to the students topursue their higher education. We are committed to those who need help in the communitieswhere we live and work and the areas where we can offer the most: education waternutrition and environment.
We are doing our part to improve our planet. Expectations for improving the environmentare increasing by government by customers by ourselves and by our employees andcommunities where we operate. International Paper and IP APPM hold the environment as oneof our key principles and values. Our farm forestry initiatives have increased thegeneration of sustainable forest plantations. Working forests are good for theenvironment. We produce much of our own energy from renewable carbon-neutral biomass. Wewill work to reduce our consumption of process materials and ensure the responsible use ofwater by our mills. We will comply with standards for stack emissions and clean air and wewill optimize the environmentally friendly uses for our process solid waste from ourmills.
Our customers need innovative products and excellent service to make their businessessuccessful. We make products that are relatively simple in today's high tech world ofvirtual reality and hand-held computers. But our products are important for helpingcustomers to meet their needs. We help people and businesses to communicate moreeffectively. Whether it's a commercial printer looking for exceptional image quality anoffice client looking for a sharp lasting document or a publisher looking for high qualitytext books for students all of them need our best and depend on our ability to meet orexceed their expectations. They need our innovative products to be successful.
Equally important is our ability to deliver inspired performance. Each element of theIP Way Forward provides a principled framework for IP APPM to deliver financial resultsthat create long term value for the shareholder. We operate in a competitive domesticmarket and growing challenges from global producers so making good decisions isimportant. We must allocate capital in an effective way including investment to maintainour operations investment in profitable growth opportunities maintaining an appropriatelevel of debt and rewarding shareholders by way of dividend when appropriate.
We have many stakeholders including shareholders banks customers employeesgovernments and communities. We are committed to operating with the IP Way Forwardprinciples as our strategic framework and believe that we will be successful in creatinglong term value for our stakeholders.
|Donald P. Devlin |
|Chairman & Managing Director |