Raw Material Procurement
The waste paper used by Cascades comes from industrial, commercial, institutional and municipal sources. Through its Cascades Recovery+ division, the company gets its supply of waste paper either directly from the source, through municipal collections or at recycling (sorting) centres, from the shredding industry, or from specialized brokers.
There are three types of waste paper:
- Pulp substitutes: paper trimmings and other paper scrap produced by converting operations in paper mills, free of ink or glue.
- Post-industrial: paper scraps from converting plants that contain ink, glue and other contaminants.
- Post-consumer: paper scraps that have been used at least once.
These types of waste paper come in three grades:
- The brown grades, made up of unbleached kraft pulp (approximately 70% of the fibres purchased by Cascades).
- The white grades, made up of chemically bleached kraft pulp (approximately 23% of the fibres purchased by Cascades).
- Groundwood grades, made up of mechanical pulp (approximately 7% of the fibres purchased by Cascades).
The 79 grades of waste paper can be found in the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries guidelines for waste paper classification. Each of these grades can be subdivided into subgrades, based on the paper's degree of contamination. Cascades uses 25 grades of waste paper.
The production of pulp, paper and cardboard requires large quantities of energy, water and, of course, fibres. The use of recycled fibres significantly reduces the consumption of these resources. Did you know that 1 tonne of recycled product saves the equivalent of 17 trees (source: EPA)?
Portrait of the situation at Cascades
In 2009, faced with an increasing demand for the certification of mixed source products (virgin fibres and recycled fibres), Cascades embarked on an FSC® certification process. FSC certification is the most widely recognized international standard in forest management. The Corporation now offers products which are certified FSC Recycled (no virgin fibres1) and FSC Mixed (virgin fibres and recycled fibres). FSC-certified products are a guarantee of healthy forest management, attesting that the company respects the biodiversity of tree species and wildlife habitats, plants trees for forest renewal, and forbids clear-cutting, which destroys eco-systems.
In 2017, more than 3.1 million short tons of recycled fibres were integrated into Cascades' products. These recycled fibres make up 82% of the company's fibres and pulp consumption.
By integrating recycled fibres into its products, Cascades avoided cutting over 45.5 million trees in 2017, which is equal to:
- 152 times the surface area of Vancouver’s Stanley Park;
- 180 times that of New York’s Central Park;
- 286 times that of Montréal’s Parc Mont-Royal;
- 381 times that of Toronto's High Park.