Government Relations

Political Disclosure and Accountability

Management Approach

WestRock is subject to numerous, complex laws and regulations, and we routinely engage with elected officials and governmental agencies on issues that impact our operations. We believe that participation in the political process is essential to our business because legislative and regulatory decisions have an impact on our ability to make critical business decisions. We also believe it better serves our business interests by creating a more informed and balanced policy-making process.

We hold open houses, conduct facility tours and undertake other outreach activities in an effort to inform elected officials about our business. We also urge our employees to educate themselves on issues that are important to our business.

We encourage membership in the Pulp and Paperworkers Resource Council, a grassroots organization of pulp and paper industry workers that is dedicated to environmental conservation, while taking into account the economic stability of the workforce and surrounding communities.

We strongly believe that active engagement in the political and regulatory processes is an important means of protecting our commercial, employee and stakeholder interests.

Participation in Trade Associations

WestRock is a member of several trade associations and other organizations that provide information and assistance on public policy issues of concern to our business. We participate in groups such as the American Forest & Paper Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Benefits Council, and the US-China and US-Brazil Business Councils not only to influence policy decisions, but to gain information that will help us improve our global operations. We value the diversity of opinions found within these groups and sometimes take positions contrary to those of these organizations when we believe it is the right thing to do. 

Global Activities

WestRock is a global company with operations throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. We work cooperatively with local, regional and national governments in the countries where we operate. From time to time, legislative, regulatory and other political issues may arise in these jurisdictions that affect our operations. After careful consideration and approval of senior management, WestRock may engage in dialogue with government officials on issues that affect our business goals and objectives. We engage in certain political activity and spending outside of the United States as permitted by, and in strict compliance with, applicable laws and regulations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

U.S. Political Contributions

The WestRock PAC is a voluntary, non-partisan political action committee that is registered with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. The PAC allows employees to pool personal, voluntary financial contributions to candidates seeking federal elective office who support issues important to our business, our employees and other stakeholders. The WestRock PAC only makes political contributions to candidates who we believe have integrity and have demonstrated a commitment to ethical political conduct. We also consider the geographical area of the candidate’s representation, the candidate’s position or voting record on key issues affecting our industry and our company, as well as the candidate’s committee assignments and legislative leadership positions. 

Employee contributions to the WestRock PAC are voluntary, and no employee is required to participate in or fund the PAC’s efforts. WestRock’s political spending through the PAC reflects our interests as a company and not those of any individual director, officer or employee. No political spending is given in anticipation of, in recognition of or in return for any official act. All federal political contributions and receipts from WestRock PAC are publicly available here.

Contributions to U.S. Political Parties

Corporate contributions to national political parties are illegal. Contributions to state parties remain legal, but subject to varying limitations and reporting requirements depending on the state. All requests for state and local political contributions are reviewed and approved by the WestRock Government Relations team. 

Direct Corporate Contributions

WestRock uses corporate resources to support our position on important public policy issues. Individual state and local laws govern contributions to candidates running for election to state and local offices. The Government Relations department sets an annual budget and has a stringent process for the justification, approval and reporting of any corporate political contributions made in the U.S., where such contributions are permissible by law.

Oversight of PAC Political Activity and Spending Practices

WestRock’s political activity and spending practices are overseen and approved by the PAC Advisory Board. The company’s political spending includes donations to candidates for elected office, as well as payments to trade associations and tax-exempt organizations that may be used for political purposes.