Innovation, vision, evolution... Cascades

To remain in the forefront of the industry and continuously enhance its performance in terms of quality, innovation and sustainable development, Cascades has always focused on its most valuable asset: its employees.

Over the years, out of this philosophy came several specialized centres and services whose main mission is to develop unique expertise and “in-house” solutions to support Cascades units and employees on the technical, professional and human levels.

Located primarily in Kingsey Falls, the birthplace of the company, Cascades' expertise centres are a source of pride and enthusiasm for our employees equalled only by the quality of the new ideas and methods they generate.

Laurent-Lemaire Information Technology Centre

The Centre is the Company’s technological headquarters, with more than 200 employees, who are mainly computer programmers, analysts and technicians. The establishment is continually expanding, and hires many interns and new graduates as a means of ensuring a new generation of employees. In fact, 95% of the Technology Centre’s employees are former interns.

Environment Department

In 1989, long before environmental issues became a worldwide concern, Cascades showed its propensity to innovate by creating the Environment Department.

Today, the Department’s multidisciplinary team is composed of seven members who specialize in a variety of fields, including wastewater, waste, soil, air, regulations and sustainable development. The Department ensures corporate environmental management and ongoing progress in sustainable development, and assists plants in implementing Cascades’ corporate philosophy.

The Department’s principle mandates are to:

  • Actively participate in developing environmental laws and regulations in collaboration with different associations and levels of government.
  • Ensure environmental monitoring of the plants and communicate the results to senior management.
  • Provide plants with support to continually improve the Company’s environmental performance.
  • Carry out due diligence audits at the time of plant sales or acquisitions.
  • Incorporate the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development into the Company’s activities.

Some of the Department’s achievements include:

  • A reduction in GHGs via an energy optimization program
  • A significant reduction in waste and increase in recovery
  • A highly efficient water conservation program
    (water consumption of 10.9 m3/tonne at Cascades in 2014)
  • A 19-category recycling program
  • Participation in the implementation of a sustainable procurement policy

Environmental protection and, more globally, sustainable development, are fundamental values for Cascades, and have been since its founding. It has taken much hard work and it has paid off, because Cascades is now an icon in the industry.

The Environment Department also offers its services externally.

Learn more about Cascades’ Environment Department


In September 2007, Cascades launched its innovation strategy: the Innovation Management System. Since then, Cascades’ system has set the standard in the North American pulp and paper industry. On February 21, 2011, at the Cascades i-LEAD Innovation strategic meeting, the Company decided to broaden the scope of its innovation strategy to include additional sectors: finance, production, human resources, services, logistics, and sales and marketing. This new vision led to improved performance across the board, with all sectors now called upon to provide strong leadership in order to support the Company’s culture of innovation. The symbolic “i-LEAD flower,” composed of five funnels that make up the Cascades’ Innovation Management System, is a particularly good depiction of a more integrated approach to innovation.


The “i-LEAD” acronym expresses Cascades’ desire, in terms of innovation (i), to demonstrate
(L), both individually and as an organization. Leadership at both levels is vital to achieving quick and efficient innovation. All team members must Embrace (E) change to maintain Cascades competitive edge. The Company must Adapt (A) in order to remain at the forefront in an industry that is changing at an unprecedented rate. Finally, Cascades must open up to the world and Discover (D) new opportunities, in order to better anticipate and prepare for the future.

The challenge

We must create and improve by leveraging the core values that have allowed Cascades to stand out internationally. The most successful companies in the world are always driven by a fundamental force. Cascades has always acted and manufactured products in accordance with its core values based on respect for people and the environment.

New approaches

With a view to improving our innovation performance, Cascades is exploring a number of new approaches:

  • a focus on real customer needs
  • quantum innovation
  • lead users
  • disruptive innovation
  • online toolkits
  • open innovation (online brokerage)

The innovation process

Incorporating the innovation process into all of Cascades’ business segments means redefining the term “innovation” so that it makes as much sense for product development as it does for recruitment, customer service and marketing. True to its philosophy of respect for employees and the environment, Cascades must innovate within the framework of sustainability. Considering the significant challenges we face as a society, it is only natural that sustainability play a key role in the way we manage innovation.


Cascades’ innovation strategy is clear: we must take a systematic and sustained approach to innovation that will allow the Company to improve its competitiveness and create value for all Cascades stakeholders.

To achieve this, Cascades must:

  • involve all employees in all positions in the approach to innovation
  • take a new approach to innovation
  • incorporate new applications rapidly and efficiently
  • develop the strategic capacity for radical innovation
  • improve our unique expertise in sustainable innovation

Cascades’ innovation performance will be measured using the KPI 05 performance indicator outlined in the Company’s Sustainable Development Plan. Ultimately, Cascades’ approach to sustainable innovation will propel it into the international arena.

Alain-Lemaire Skills Development Centre

The Alain-Lemaire Skills Development Centre was created by Cascades to more solidly establish the basis of future corporate growth and to increase the qualifications and skills of its employees

Located in the heart of a maple forest near the village of Kingsey Falls, the Skills Development Centre can host up to 125 employees in this enchanting setting, perfect for training, meetings and workshops.

In addition to the Alain-Lemaire Skills Development Centre, the Cascades Training Department is active in several regions and offers training activities in locations throughout North America. The Department’s Commitment involves helping to reach Cascades’ corporate objectives through skills development for its employees while respecting corporate values.

Energy Action Group

Cascades was the first company in the industry to have its own group of experts working in the area of energy efficiency. The Energy Action Group (GIE) is a team made up mainly of engineers, whose mission is to reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency in all Cascades plants.

Learn more about the Energy Action Group

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