2. Large Business: Resources: Manufacturers
Staff: Carl Blanchet, Corporate Director of Business Development, Cascades
The company: Cascades recovers and recycles paper, plastics and other materials in order to manufacture bulk raw materials that are sold to converters manufacturing consumer goods.
The achievement: For years, the company had under-used its ecological fabrication potential, concentrating activities on a business-to-business basis, with little focus on green solutions for customers. Through a market study, Cascades recognized the opportunity to create an eco-responsible line of products for consumers. Under Carl’s leadership, the Cascades e-boutique was launched in November 2010 with two products: 100% recycled cardboard Christmas tree and children’s playhouse. The project has since expanded to outdoor furniture made of recycled plastic and other recycled and ecological products. With this new platform, Cascades is able to test and validate market penetration for products, and to innovate in the production of new products. “We’re green leaders in the industry, and our strategy is to become more innovative in green products as a whole,” says Carl Blanchet, corporate director of business development. “We want to create the most eco-responsible products not just because of the use of recycled fibre, but also because of the processes, using as few natural resources as possible.”
Team: Catalyst Paper
The company: Catalyst is western North America’s largest producer of mechanical printing paper. Their customers span the globe and include retailers, publishers, commercial printers and manufacturers who use their pulp. With four facilities located in British Columbia and Arizona, Catalyst has a combined annual production capacity of approximately 1.9 million tonnes.
The achievement: As recently as a decade ago, Catalyst’s manufacturing facilities were under-utilizing available carbon-neutral biomass fuels and had relatively high carbon footprints. They had a limited degree of product differentiation and were not able to achieve marketplace advantages based on environmental benefits inherent in the nature of their raw materials and end products. Beginning with an approximately $250 million investment in energy infrastructure in their mills, Catalyst increased their use of biomass and dramatically reduced fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Other improvements cut other types of emissions, contributed to reduced toxicity and measurable improvements in local habitat conditions and set water-use intensity on an improving trend. The dedicated team built strong relationships with ENGOs and actively engaged in broader industry efforts to arrive at mutually acceptable land-use solutions designed to advance a range of sustainability-related objectives. They have also been able to better optimize and distinguish their products in the marketplace, including developing a suite of high-performing and environmentally preferred lighter basis-weight papers. “One of the things I think is remarkable is that the commitment to sustainable practices and improving corporate responsibility has not waned,” says Lyn Brown, Vice-President of Marketing and Corporate Responsibility. “I think that’s a significant proof point that corporate responsibility at our company is very much embedded in the hearts and minds and aspirations of our 1,800 people.”