At Rayonier, conservation is second nature.

The future of our company and the communities we serve depends upon healthy, sustainable forests. That’s why our scientists, researchers and forestry specialists work tirelessly to care for the land. At Rayonier, environmental stewardship is more than a commitment—it’s an essential element of our business.

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Our Jesup MillPrevious Next

Our Story

At Rayonier, conservation is second nature—and it’s been that way since 1926. For decades, we’ve partnered with public agencies and top environmental groups to conserve more than 155,000 acres—protecting sensitive ecosystems for future generations. But, we’re not only a forestry company, we’re also a technology company. Our products can be found in everyday items like cell phones, auto parts and medicine. We create world-class products that help power our economy and we do it with the help of nearly 1,000 employees who call Southeast Georgia home.

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy comes down to a single word: “Interdependence.” For example, our Jesup Mill ensures that roughly a million acres in Southeast Georgia remain working forests. These forests depend upon Rayonier. In turn, Rayonier depends upon them. Thinking generations ahead isn’t just good for the environment — it’s essential to our business. That’s why Rayonier planted more than 35 million trees last year. It’s why we go to extraordinary lengths to take good care of the land. And it’s why we always will.


Often, we team up with conservation experts to identify lands with unique ecological, recreational or historic significance. But sometimes, you just know when a place is special. That’s why we’ve been proud to partner with leading environmental groups and public agencies to place more than 155,000 acres in perpetual conservation.

View Our Conservation Work in SE Georgia

Murff Tract

In 2011, Rayonier partnered with conservation organizations to add the 14,000-acre Murff Tract to the corridor of protected lands along the Altamaha River. The largest and most ecologically intact component of the corridor, Murff Tract is home to swallow-tailed kite and rare inland maritime hammocks, which host a unique variety of plant species seldom found in the Southeast. Part of the Altamaha Bioreserve, the Murff Tract protects at least 17 endangered, threatened or special concern species and helps fulfill one of the highest conservation priorities in Georgia’s Wildlife Action Plan.


Pinhook Swamp is big. Really big. Home to White-tailed Deer, Black Bears and Gopher Tortoises, it is also an ecological treasure. That’s why Rayonier partnered with public agencies to place Pinhook’s 60,000 acres in perpetual conservation—forever connecting Florida’s Osceola National Forest with Georgia’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Today, Pinhook Swamp is the linchpin in one of the largest contiguous wildlife corridors east of the Mississippi. View Pinhook Map.

Boyle’s Island

For generations, Boyle’s Island has been a very special place for wildlife and those who love it. At Rayonier, we want to keep it that way. That’s why we partnered with the Nature Conservancy and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to add this unique ecological treasure to the more than 155,000 acres our company has helped place in perpetual conservation.


Over the last 50 years, Rayonier has planted more than 1 billion trees. Trees that not only provide a renewable raw material for products we all use every day, but also help provide clean air and water.  These forests also preserve a way of life for rural communities. In our business, careful stewardship of the land is essential. That’s why Rayonier always meets or exceeds the rigorous standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative in our forestry operations. These practices, validated by third party reviews, ensure that our lands will remain healthy, abundant and viable for generations to come.


At Rayonier, we’re part of the solution. We’re a leader in new technology that allows our Jesup Mill to generate 92 percent of its own energy—and that energy is renewable. That’s not all. The biofuels boiler at our Fernandina Mill produces enough steam and electricity to offset the equivalent of more than 400,000 automobile-miles every day. The mill now produces all of the energy it requires and even returns a surplus to the community grid.


Q. Where are Rayonier’s operations located?
A. We own or manage more than 2.7 million acres of timberland in North America and New Zealand. While our corporate headquarters is in Jacksonville, Rayonier’s largest concentration of employees is at our Jesup, Georgia performance fibers manufacturing facility and research center. We also operate a performance fibers manufacturing facility in Fernandina Beach, Florida, a forestry research center in Yulee, Florida and a tree nursery in Elberta, Alabama. Our forestry business includes offices throughout our U.S. land holdings. Internationally, we maintain sales offices in London, Tokyo and Shanghai, and forestry operations through a joint venture in New Zealand, based in Auckland.
Q. What does Rayonier manufacture?
A. Rayonier is unique from other forest products companies. We produce highly purified cellulose specialty products which are processed by our customers and used in their manufacturing operations. Our performance fibers are not the same as pulp used in traditional paper products. This means the process at our manufacturing facilities differs from a typical pulp mill.

Performance fibers are used to manufacture many every day products including flat panel televisions, computer screens, impact resistant plastics, filters, tires, paint, food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Q. How are Rayonier’s facilities different from a traditional pulp or paper mill?
A. The end users of our products require a high purity material to meet their manufacturing needs so Rayonier’s performance fiber products are virtually pure cellulose. Our proprietary processes allow us to produce cellulose fiber with greater then 98% purity, removing nearly all of the non-cellulose materials that are considered impurities to our customers. Traditional wood pulp used in paper products contains significant levels of these non-cellulose materials that do not compromise the quality of paper products.
Q. Does Rayonier produce all of its pulp from its own timber?
A. No. We purchase timber to supply our facilities on the open market, and likewise, we sell our own timber to the highest bidder. There are many private forest owners near our mills including Rayonier forests. In fact, the presence of the Jesup mill supports more than 1 million acres of timberland, much of that family-owned forests.
Q. Does Rayonier practice sustainable forestry?
A. Yes. Throughout our forests in the United States, we practice sustainable forestry, which ensures prompt reforestation and protection of air and water quality, native plants and trees and wildlife habitat. We employ advanced silvicultural practices to grow healthier, disease-resistant trees, and partner with forestry professionals and universities to conserve and manage our timberlands as healthy, working ecosystems. Rayonier’s US Forest Resources operations subscribe to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative ® (SFI) program, which includes independent third-party audits of our practices. More than ninety-five percent of Rayonier’s 2.4 million acres of U.S. timberlands are SFI ® certified.

In New Zealand, Rayonier’s forestry practices conform to the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) principles and criteria for sustainable forest management and all of our New Zealand timberland is FSC certified.

Q. How does Rayonier ensure that the wood it purchases is sustainable?
A. Rayonier’s Wood Procurement process is certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s standards for fiber sourcing. The standards require third-party auditing of our procurement process and a commitment to work with landowners to identify and protect habitat for threatened and endangered species, employ best management practices to local watersheds, and encourage prompt reforestation. The company also requires loggers to receive training about legal requirements and sustainable practices.
Q. Does Rayonier’s Jesup facility impact the Altamaha River?
A. All human activity impacts the environment. Our environmental goals are focused on minimizing the impacts of our company’s activities, while providing a balance for those that are inevitable.

Rayonier’s Jesup manufacturing facility sits on the banks of the Altamaha River. The facility is permitted to discharge treated wastewater subject to conditions and requirements of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES) issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). The water discharged from Rayonier’s facility must continually meet all of the water quality criteria established by the Environmental Protection Agency and Georgia EPD. Those criteria are designed to ensure that the Altamaha’s water quality continues to meet its designated use for swimming and fishing. The water we discharge into the Altamaha is not known to have a harmful effect on people, fish or wildlife.

While we work to minimize the impact our discharge has on the river, Rayonier’s business activities also provide a positive benefit for the Altamaha River. We own and operate more than 152,000 acres of working forest in the Altamaha River drainage basin. Working forests provide natural habitat for wildlife, while improving water quality in the basin and river. Additionally, through partnerships with conservation organizations, we’ve helped place more than 21,000 acres of critical habitat into permanent conservation within the Altamaha watershed.

Q. Why is the Jesup facility’s waste water dark in color?
A. The processes used at the facility to produce high purity cellulose extract nearly all of the impurities from the wood. Naturally occurring lignins in our waste water produce color which is yellow in small concentrations and a deeper brown in higher concentrations.

Most people living in the South are familiar with black water streams. Many of the water sources feeding these streams are forested swampland where decomposing wood releases lignins, which color the water. Our processes essentially duplicate that decomposition.

For more than 50 years, Rayonier has maintained waste water treatment facilities in Jesup. We have installed equipment to collect the majority of the lignin for energy generation in our recovery boilers, and treat the waste water through several processes prior to discharge. However, there is currently no technologically feasible way to remove all color from the wastewater. We have invested more than $70 million dollars in the past 6 years alone to install equipment to collect the lignins, and these efforts have resulted in a more than 40% reduction in the color of our wastewater since 2008. And, we have committed to millions of dollars in additional upgrades in the next several years to further reduce the color. For more information on our efforts to reduce color, please see our Jesup manufacturing facility fact sheet.

Q. How can I get a job with Rayonier?
A. Rayonier is always looking for talented and driven employees. Please visit our corporate website to learn more about working at Rayonier.


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