It’s not easy being and living green when most of the public thinks of your industry as an environmental villain. But for the Strathcona Paper LP mill in Napanee, Ont., it is precisely that misinformed perception which keeps this manufacturer of 100-percent recycled paperboard always on its toes in maintaining its hard-earned status as one of Canada’s top environmental corporate trailblazers.
“First and foremost, Strathcona is committed to conducting its business and operations in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner,” asserts senior vice-president of marketing and sales Mark Sklar. “Our Strathcona mill is the only 100-percent recycled clay-coated paperboard mill in North America to be ISO 14001: 2004-certified.”
Sklar explains that obtaining the vaunted global ISO 14001:2004 certification—specifying a rigorous set of environmental management requirements that companies must be capable of developing and implementing themselves—was a formidable achievement for Strathcona, reinforcing the company’s environmental credentials first established with the 2001 registration to the ISO 14001 environmental management system standards.
But even putting such impressive compliance milestones aside, the mill’s product mix speaks for itself, Sklar contends, with all five brands of the paperboard packaging substrates manufactured at Napanee made from approximately 65-percent post-consumer wastepaper, with the remainder comprised of the so-called “post-industrial scrap.”
Operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toronto-based paperboard and folding-carton group CanamPac ULC—itself owned by the Greenwich, Conn.-headquartered resources conglomerate Atlas Industries LLC—the Strathcona mill has come a long ways since first opening its doors back in 1873 under the Napanee Paper Company banner.
Situated on 400 acres of picturesque eastern Ontario countryside about 40 kilometers west of Kingston, the 300,000-square-foot paper mill today employs 116 hourly workers—along with 42 salaried staff, including sales teams in Toronto, Montreal and the U.S.—to produce a fairly diverse range of paperboard products that can be found at retail outlets throughout North America in the packaging of foods and household goods ranging from frozen-food, dry-food and beverages to laundry detergents, toys, pet products and hardware.
“We’re the substrate of choice for many of the leading brand manufacturers in North America,” says Sklar, citing the likes of Janes Family Foods Ltd., H.J. Heinz Company, and the President’s Choice private-label brand family as some of the company’s many illustrious clients.