Georgia-Pacific's David Brabham
Leveraging environmental trends to meet high expectations
David Brabham, Georgia-Pacific’s director of stewardship strategy, has been concerned with environmental stewardship since he was just a little boy – and he can prove it.
“I, David Brabham, am committed to aluminum can recycling for a cleaner, more beautiful world,” reads the faded recycling pledge certificate dated January 23, 1991.
Growing up in Ohio, David tried to spend as much time as he could exploring the woods and catching crawdads in the creeks behind his childhood home. That love of being outdoors is what drove him to get a degree in natural resource management from Ohio State.
“My dream job was to be a park ranger,” he says.
Which he pursued for a short time interning at Badlands National Park and Seney National Wildlife Refuge. But he eventually realized he was more interested in working in industry to help advance corporate conservation efforts and improve environmental stewardship.
“Feeling like you have a purpose, that you’re contributing to something that makes society better, is important,” he says.
At Georgia-Pacific, David works every day to help the company identify and understand environmental trends and ways to meet the environmental stewardship needs of its customers. David says he recognizes that manufacturing anything has its impacts, but finding ways to reduce those impacts, even minimally, can make a significant difference.
“There’s a personal responsibility to try to do the right things,” he says. “We’re not going to get it right all the time, but I think we can always make progress. That’s the important part.”
Even outside of his job, David works to make it easier for people to connect with nature and the outdoors as a member of the board of Park Pride. Its goal is to work with communities in and around Atlanta to improve the availability and quality of public parks.
David says he wants to make sure that there are beautiful and healthy natural spaces for all future generations to enjoy – and public parks are an instrumental part of that vision.
“When you don’t know that nature is there,” he says, “it’s easy to dismiss it.”