Cascades Joins Collective Front against the Spread of COVID-19 Pandemic
With the raging COVID-19 epidemic continuing to claim soaring numbers of victims across Canada, and with the province of Quebec recording the highest fatalities, Kingsey Falls, Que.-based forest products group Cascades Inc. wasted no time in stepping up to the frontlines last month to help reverse the deadly tide.
Partnering up with hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer and clothing retailer Tristan, Cascades commenced production of at least one million pre-cut medical visors at the company’s Inopak plant in Drummondville, Que., to help protect the province’s medical and healthcare professionals overwhelmed by the rapid spread of coronavirus throughought Quebec communities.
Cascades is using extruded recycled rolled plastic supplied by Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.-based plastic recycler NU-B, Inc. to manufacture the visors, with Tristan and Bauer taking care of the final assembly.
Both Tristan and Bauer have retooled some of their manufacturing operations in recent weeks to boost production of various much-needed medical equipment and protective clothing for the province’s medical workers.
“Our company is very pleased to be able to contribute to these promising and important initiatives by providing materials and components,” says Cascades president and chief executive officer Mario Plourde.
“We applaud the organizations launching these projects and want to thank our employees for their remarkable agility and dedication,” says Plourde.
“Other projects have been submitted to Cascades,” he adds, “and the company is assessing the feasibility of supplying materials and production capacity needed for their completion.”
According to Cascades, whose “essential business” exemption has allowed the company to continue operating, any new special orders with not interfere with company’s regular containerboard and tissue product manufacturing activities.
Founded in 1964, Cascades currently employs about 12,000 people at over 90 production sites in North America and Europe, and the company is the country’s leading producer of paper products made from recycled fiber.
Last month, the company was included in the 50 Top Business Moves for the Planet list—released on the 50th anniversary Earth Day, April 22, 2020, by Earth Day Canada and the Corporate Knights philanthropy group—to recognize Cascades’ pioneering role in the growth of recycling in Canada.
“In the 1950s we could not have foreseen that the simple idea of diverting material from landfills to recovery would go so far,” says company co-founder and executive chairman of the board of directors Alain Lemaire.
“By giving new life to this material, we reduce the pressure on natural resources and minimize waste,” Lemaire adds.
“Even though the idea wasn’t popular at the time, I am very proud that we were true to our values and ideals and continue to honor them today.”
According to Cascades, 83 per cent of the materials used to make its products come from recovered sources.