Diversity and Collaboration Build Value for Paper Industry
The products the paper and wood products industry manufactures are used in households across the United States every day. And this is a responsibility the industry takes very seriously.
“Consumers expect the right quality, at the right value, with the right care for the environment. Every day. Being able to work in an industry that does that is exciting, challenging, and inspirational,” said Rafael Garcia, Vice President – Environmental Stewardship Strategy, Consumer Products Group at Georgia-Pacific.
Garcia said his job relies on collaboration.
“I am trying to bring in the right knowledge and points of view in the Environmental Stewardship space that our business needs to accelerate innovation efforts to differentiate our existing products and deliver new solutions to meet customer and consumer needs,” Garcia said. “An important part of this is to create more value while using fewer resources.”
Garcia has had multiple roles in the industry throughout his career, from business development and supply chain to brand leadership and consumer knowledge. Each of these roles helped him develop as a leader.
Garcia also draws on his Hispanic heritage in his work.
“Bringing my unique experience and individual point of view helps me in my job. Being Hispanic is one of the things that shapes my overall thinking and approach,” said Garcia. “Encouraging and leveraging diversity of thought and backgrounds is something that can create value for organizations.”
Hispanic Heritage Month is a reminder of the value of diversity, Garcia said.
“Each one of us is an important part of our family, our community and our workplace. We make those things richer by bringing our distinctive perspectives and backgrounds to each engagement,” he said.
Garcia’s advice is to be willing to learn.
“Learning never stops … so be flexible and willing to take some risks. Employees who are contribution-motivated, seek growth and challenge, and find meaning in work that utilizes their abilities will create more value for society, and have more fulfilling careers,” he said.