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Cascades Exceeds Water Saving Target

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On World Water Day this week (March 22), Cascades, Kingsey Falls, Que., Canada, announced that it has exceeded its 2015 target for reducing water consumption. By the end of the 2013–2015 Sustainable Development Plan, the company's objective was to decrease waste water output of its plants to 10.6 cubic meters of water per metric ton of products. Several process improvements have enabled it to exceed this target and reduce its output to 9.9 cubic meters per metric ton, which is six times less than the average for the Canadian pulp and paper industry.

"By choosing to manufacture many products from recycled materials, we not only save trees, we also save a large amount of water during the manufacturing process. Even though we consume less water than the industry average, we spare no effort in continuing to improve our performance," said Mario Plourde, president and CEO of Cascades. "We are now seeing the major benefits of our good practices, not only with regard to the environment, but also with our finances — as saving water results in cost reductions." 
During the past few years, Cascades' Environment Department has worked closely with plants to identify areas for improvement in an effort to reduce water consumption. "Our teams have used their ingenuity to reuse water as much as possible in a closed circuit, thereby minimizing our fresh water usage," explained Léon Marineau, VP, environment. "A comparison of our current and past performance serves as a measure of the colossal progress made. In 2005, Cascades plants consumed an average of 23.9 cubic meters of water per metric ton of products. Ten years later, they are using 2.5 times less."

Between 2013 and 2015, Cascades' water savings compared with the industry consumption average enabled it to save 312 billion liters of water — that's enough to fill nearly 8 million above-ground swimming pools. Cascades hopes that its initiatives will inspire other companies to follow in its footsteps, leading to even greater collective reductions in water consumption. 

Cascades will shortly publish a report on the results of its 2013–2015 Sustainable Development Plan. This will give an overview of the work carried out in three major areas—planet, prosperity, and partners—and will underline Cascades' priorities with the aim of extending its lead. Having as positive an impact as possible; this has been Cascades' objective for more than 50 years.


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