Cascades: a source of inspiration

Cascades: a source of inspiration Alain Lemaire

When we began to build Cascades 50 years ago, my brothers and I never imagined that it would grow into the renowned multinational company that it is today. Who would have thought that recycling waste paper and cardboard, a simple yet innovative idea that some considered eccentric in the transitional context of the Quiet Revolution, would result in our company developing into a source of pride and joy for Quebecers?

From natural resources management to managing resources naturally

Over the decades, we have remained true to our father's philosophy: use old materials to make new ones, and avoid wasting resources. Having visited and worked in the landfills ourselves, we know that they are absolutely full of valuable resources. That was the source of our family's livelihood. Our background taught us that nature does not belong to us; we are simply borrowing it.

From human resources management to managing resources humanely

Do you see how a slight change in wording can make a huge difference in meaning? For Cascades, the men and women who show an interest in what we are doing are not resources, but rather allies, assets and benefits. We know that to progress and "think outside the box," we need more than just high-performance machinery; we need motivated and dedicated people. In the same way that we look after our natural resources, we are also committed to taking care of our people. They are our greatest asset!

From financial resources management to managing resources proactively

Of course, none of our environmental or social initiatives would have seen the light of day without the necessary financial means. All projects require rigorous economic analysis and a study of the return on investment. What good would it do to offer excellent work conditions if they couldn't be maintained in the long term? Sometimes difficult decisions must be made to keep the organization healthy, and we hope that this good health will prevail for many decades to come.

Our unique stand on resources clearly illustrates that sustainable development, a concept that has become trendy over the past few years, has always been an integral part of Cascades’ business strategy and success. We like to say that sustainable development is part of our DNA, because it is the foundation on which the company was built. Our family values have helped us make wise decisions. These decisions were not made in the name of building an image or easing our conscience, but because they came naturally.

What really makes me proud is that these values are now embraced by the close to 11,000 men and women who make up our extended family, and by the thousands of customers who choose Cascades products. We invite you to join us.

Alain Lemaire
Executive Chairman of the Board

Cascades: a source of pride

Cascades: a source of pride Mario Plourde

Taking over the legacy left by the Lemaire brothers, a family business the likes of Cascades, is an immense privilege. Cascades became part of my life in 1985. Since then, I have made its values my own—values that are anchored in the principles of sustainable development and that promote a green approach in everything we do.

To learn more about the issues related to sustainable development that drive our actions on a daily basis, please visit our "Sustainable Development" section. The contents are organized by subject, in reference to existing social responsibility standard:

  • Environment: raw materials, water, air, energy, waste recovery, transportation 
  • Social: working conditions, skills development, participation in labour relations, equity, health and safety, donations and sponsorships
  • Economy: profitability, sustainability, procurement policy, local development, partnerships

We have always been attentive to the people around us—people who play a key role in our success. I invite you to share your comments and suggestions on issues related to sustainable development. Several platforms are available for you to share your thoughts with us: visit our Blog or Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. Let's talk and get to know each other better!

Mario Plourde
President and Chief Executive Officer

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