The Cascading Effects of Sustainability
With global climate change becoming more widely accepted, companies are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact. They understand that recycling programs, water and energy saving programs, and chemical reduction programs need to be implemented in order to better protect the health of humans and animals. Cascades is one company that, in the eyes of the CFPA, is doing its part to reduce its environmental impact and providing third party accountability to prove it.
Cascades has been concerned with their environmental footprint since its beginning in 1964. Antonio Lemaire and his three sons, Cascades’ founding family, would re-use any old paper and waste they found. Antonio often said, “That thing is still good. We can surely make something out of it.” As the company continued to grow, they would go from making pulp with a kitchen blender to renovating old machines and abandoned mills. Even in the beginning, Cascades was finding ways to recycle.
Fast forward to 2013. Their original recycling practices have been scaled up and are now accompanied with sustainability initiatives. Cascades still strives to reduce their environmental footprint, because they know that paper making consumes large amounts of water and energy. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the paper industry is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gas. To combat this, Cascades Tissue Group, a division of Cascades, makes products from 100% recycled materials, such as their 100% recycled towel and tissue products. This removes this waste from landfills and prevents the harvest of new trees. Because they know a majority of paper products can be recycled up to seven times, they understand the value of recycled fiber. In addition to recycling, Cascades uses chlorine free production processes to make their tissue and fine paper, and bio-gas is used as an energy source to help meet their energy needs.
Their efforts do not stop there; Cascades is planning on further increasing their sustainability practices. They developed their first sustainable development plan for 2010-2012. In order to do this, it was necessary to consult with a number of stakeholders, suppliers, employees, customers, communities, creditors, and managers. Cascades established 18 key performance indicators (KPI) which represent the environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability. This allowed them to measure a number of factors, including water and biodiversity, reducing energy consumption, increasing renewable energy, reusing paper-making waste, reducing solid waste sent to landfill and more. Cascades believes there is still room for improvement in 2013, as the company is working on its next plan. They will get new goals for the future and continue to increase their sustainability.