The Environmental Strategy of the Year award submission was based on Cascades' agreement in April to nearly double its already industry-leading commitment to buying renewable wind energy. The annual purchase of 20,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of Green-e®certified renewable energy credits was enough to offset 100 percent of the electricity used in the production of its North River®line, recognized as the industry forerunner in environmentally preferable towel and tissue. Representing a 182 percent increase over previous levels, the purchase reduces the company's indirect carbon emissions by over 43 million pounds, on par with removing 3,745 cars from the road each year.
"At Cascades, we like to say that being green is in our DNA, so advancement toward this award is an affirmation that our core is not just planet-friendly, but innovative too," said Suzanne Blanchet, President and CEO of Cascades Tissue Group. "Becoming the first to offset a towel and tissue product line's manufacturing electricity with renewable wind energy credits was something that both made strategic sense and felt right."
In other categories, the company's Innovative Product award submission was based on the launch of its intelligentTMantibacterial hand towel, a world-first product that not only reduces harmful bacteria on users' hands immediately upon use, but then persistently shields them from new bacteria for up to 30 minutes afterwards. Marketed to the healthcare, food service and processing and education sectors initially, the product has been cleared for use in Canada and is awaiting FDA approval in the U.S. The Water Efficiency award possibility is in recognition of Cascades Fine Paper Group's successful reduction of 1.16 m3/ metric ton (or 306 gallons/metric ton) of fresh water used in the de-inked pulp manufacturing at its Breakey Fibre Unit, based in Breakeyville, Quebec.
Mark Rushton, editor of PPI magazine and chairman of the jury for the PPI Awards 2010, commented, "This is the second year we have organized the PPI Awards and we're very pleased again with the quality and quantity of the entries. We've received more entries from all parts of the globe this year. Making the finalists list is a great achievement for all the companies involved."
Industry renowned names such as Teresa Presas of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), Duncan Pollard of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Rod Young at Resource Information Systems Inc. (RISI), Roger Warwick at the Association of Print and Paper Technicians and Jim Keller at the International Corrugated Case Association (ICCA) were involved in the judging, along with other experts in different fields. RISI will be publishing more information on the finalists in the October issue of PPI magazine as well as on the RISI and PPI Awards websites.
Cascades Tissue Group is a division of manufacturing and packaging leader Cascades, Inc. (CAS Toronto Exchange), long considered a pioneer in recycled paper manufacturing. The organization has 17 mills spread throughout North America, including 10 in the United States. Its various towel and tissues are generally one-time use products destined for sewers and landfills - a fact motivating Cascades to remain an industry model of forward-thinking manufacturing, sustainability and carbon avoidance.