In 2010 the paper manufacturer began developing a multi-year sustainable development plan, in collaboration with several non-governmental organizations, aimed at pushing itself and other companies towards enhanced sustainability planning, measurability and accountability. Cascades and its partners eventually developed 18 specific key performance indicators for 2012 in areas such as reducing energy, re-using papermaking waste and conducting more meetings with key industry leaders and decision makers.
The interim progress report on the sustainable development plan suggests that the company has made progress on nine KPIs: greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the reuse of papermaking waste, increasing recycling, discharge of effluent, employee training, awareness of sustainable development among customers, meetings with decision makers, collaboration with stakeholders and community involvement.
Progress had stalled or regressed on efforts to meet five KPIs: energy consumption, increasing the amount of recycled fibers and certified fibers it uses, the quality of its treated water, return on assets and employee engagement.
There is insufficient data available for four metrics: the commitments of suppliers toward responsible practices, the amount of sustainable innovation, suppliers with a sustainable procurement policy, and increasing the health, safety and well-being index.
The company says it is on track to meet half of its KPI goals by 2012.
From 2010 to 2011 the company’s energy intensity increased around 4.5 percent from 10.9 to 11.4 GJ of purchased energy per metric ton of saleable product. Cascades’ objective for 2012 is to reach 10.44 GJ of purchased energy per metric ton of saleable product. The company’s manufacturing plants completed several projects that allowed them to reduce their absolute energy consumption by 645,404 GJ last year, but slower sales also affected the company’s bottom line, pushing the energy intensity metric higher, the report says.
The company met, a year early, its greenhouse gas emissions target of producing 195.2 kg of CO2 equivalent per metric ton of saleable product. In 2011 Cascades produced 194.5 kg CO2e/MT of product compared with 203.3 in 2010. A number of energy efficiency projects carried out in 2010 played their part in the reduction, but the primary reason for the drop was the sale of a boxboard plant in Connecticut, Cascades says.