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Catalyst Paper issues 10th sustainability report - 62% of all fiber supply certified

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Catalyst Paper issues 10th sustainability report - 62% of all fiber supply certified

April 23, 2013 - 09:49
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RICHMOND , BC, April 23, 2013 (CNW) -Catalyst Paper has released its tenth sustainability report as an early adopter of this voluntary disclosure practice more than a decade ago. Titled "Our Tomorrow Starts Today", the report covers calendar 2012 and was produced using Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines (B-level application). It also serves as Catalyst's Communication on Progress as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact.

"We aim to present a balanced picture of issues that affect our performance and that interest our stakeholders," said Lyn Brown , vice-president marketing and corporate responsibility. "Paper was the first widely used interactive medium and transparency has been at the core of our operating philosophy since well before the first tweet was sent."

The report covers a pivotal year for Catalyst, during which a major financial restructuring was completed under creditor protection.

"The fact that we kept up our reporting commitment under these conditions indicates how deeply rooted sustainability is in our way of doing business," said Brown. "Our report acknowledges the challenges we faced. And it tells the story of the strategy and stakeholder contributions that 'brought the pieces together' and got us to a successful outcome," she said.

In addition to restructuring, other 2012 outcomes detailed in the report include:

  • Total direct greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions were down, mainly due to the permanent closure of a carbon-intensive recycled paper mill in Arizona;
  • GHGs were one-fifth of 1990 levels at Canadian operations, but were up from a year earlier reflecting the impact of increased electricity generation at Powell River;
  • Renewable energy use stood at 87% at Canadian operations and 79% corporately;
  • 62% of all fibre supply was certified to leading third-party sustainability standards with most sourced from sawmill wastes;
  • Corporate water-use intensity was reduced 4%;
  • Frequency of medical incidents and lost-time injuries were reduced slightly, however safety results fell short of targeted performance;
  • 200 new employees were hired as retirements trend upward and recruitment intensified; and
  • Operations employed 1,600 people and generated nearly $2 billion in economic activity which supports 5,500 additional jobs in British Columbia.

The report was prepared concurrently with mandatory annual financial reporting, and both documents are printed on Ascent. This is a new, high-value "coated three" grade manufactured at the Port Alberni mill, and the latest outcome of Catalyst's ongoing product development focus.

"Sustainability is certainly about responsible environmental and social performance," says Brown. "But it's equally about having a sound and adaptable business strategy and a competitive product offering. Our 2012 sustainability report showcases all of this in a single package."

Catalyst sustainability reports are a central feature of the transparency that has earned the company third-party recognition. This includes being named one of the Canada's 50 best corporate citizens by Corporate Knights magazine for the past six years, and an Excellence in Corporate Responsibility award from Green Living Enterprises for the past two years. The latter award in 2012 specifically recognized the socially responsible way in which the restructuring was carried out.

Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse specialty mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp. Its customers include retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America , Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe . With three mills, located in British Columbia, Catalyst has a combined annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes. The company is headquartered in Richmond , British Columbia, Canada and its shares trade on the Toronto Exchange under the symbol CYT.