Recycled paperboard packaging group Cascades Inc. of Kingsey Falls, Inc. is one of 30 Canadian-based businesses to have made the 2009 Canada’s Greenest Employers list—compiled by the Toronto-based Mediacorp Canada Inc. as a tribute to the country’s progressive employers that blend environmental values into their corporate culture and demonstrate leading initiatives and concrete results in the area of environmental sustainability.
Founded in 1964, Cascades has remained the country’s leading producer, converter and marketer of packaging and tissue products made overwhelmingly from recycled fibers virtually since it began operations—maintaining its status as the pulp-and-paper industry’s environmental leader over the years with an extensive wastepaper recovery and recycling infrastructure; pioneering the use of chlorine-free production processes in the manufacture of tissue and fine papers; using bio-gas to meet its energy needs; actively supporting various environmental organizations and causes, etc.
“This recognition once again confirms Cascades’ status as a leader in sustainable development and, more specifically, environmental friendliness and human resources,” says Maryse Fernet, Cascades vice-president of human resources.
According to Mediacorp, which also produces the long-running annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers rankings, some of the reasons for Cascades’ selection to this year’s Canada’s Greenest Employers list include:
• being the largest user of recycled fibers in Canada and the 11th-largest worldwide;
• recycling 2.8 million tonnes of board and paper every year—accounting for 77 per cent of all the raw material used by the company;
• operating the only chlorine-free processing plant in Canada to produce independently certified chlorine-free paper towels and tissue products;
• operating a mill location powered by bio-gas—energy generated from the decomposition of waste buried in a landfill site;
• cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent since 1990—a benchmark year for the Kyoto Protocol implementation;
• maintaining a 34-percent ownership in Boralex Inc., one of leading Canadian producers of renewable energy;
• currently using five times less water than the Canadian industry average;
• actively supporting environmental charitable causes, with its employees regularly participating in events such as Québec Waste Reduction Week, the Tremblant Forum on Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, the Quebec Foundation for the Environment, and various Earth Day activities;
• internally promoting environmental causes through the company’s inhouse Eco-Hero contest, which recognizes and rewards individual employees who integrate concern for the environment into their everyday activities.