I always welcome the opportunity to report on Canfor Pulp’s sustainability activities. Canfor Pulp delivers the highest value products to customers and the greatest benefits to communities, and we do this in a way that has the least environmental impact possible.
We meet the highest standards for sustainability. We give preference to suppliers who provide third-party certified fibre, we exceed Canada’s strict environmental regulations, and we meet the requirements of international policies aimed at reducing illegal harvesting. Our focus on innovation is unrivalled, and we are one of the largest single producers of bioenergy in North America.
Canfor Pulp was among the first companies in North America to meet independent third-party certification standards. Today 78% of our fibre comes from certified sources, and our mills are chain-of-custody certified to the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). All of our products meet FSC’s controlled wood requirements.
We meet international requirements such as the EU Timber Regulation and the US Lacey Act that are aimed at tackling illegal harvesting, and our mills go beyond Canada’s world-leading regulations that protect water and air quality. Our customers in countries around the world can be confident our products are made with fibre from legal and sustainable sources.
Canfor Pulp has access to some of the highest-quality fibre in the world. It comes from tree species in British Columbia’s interior that thrive in the extreme climate. They develop long, slender and thin-walled cellulose fibres with high tensile strength – ideal for high-quality products. Roughly half of the wood we receive is used for high-quality premium reinforcement pulp. We look forward to bringing our Mihari project on line at each of our manufacturing operations to deliver an unparalleled on-line quality management system to monitor pulp properties and support continuous improvement in the pulp quality we produce.
We produce premium products, and are always watching for opportunities to secure greater economic and environmental value. By improving our manufacturing processes, we have helped our customers reduce their energy consumption and achieve higher tensile strengths so they can use less fibre while maintaining paper strength and runnability. Through Canfor Pulp Innovation, we work with world-class researchers to develop next-generation products.
In 2014, Canfor Pulp generated 935,000 MWh of clean renewable energy. We recently replaced two turbine generators at our Northwood Mill, and in 2014 we installed a new 32-MW unit at our Intercontinental Mill. Our renewable energy business has steadily grown for the past several years and continues to deliver attractive financial returns while at the same time moving us ever closer to our goal of self-sufficiency.
For more than five years, Canfor Pulp has been investing in capital projects that have helped us improve our environmental performance and energy efficiency – some funded in part with credits through the Canadian government’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. We also have long-term agreements with BC Hydro under its Integrated Power Offer, which encourages pulp and paper producers to invest in energy efficiency and biomass power generation.
In 2014, we invested $58 million in upgrades to keep our mills competitive and efficient – and expect a similar pace of investment over the next three years. We made the investments needed to improve air emissions from our three Prince George mills, and to meet the Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable’s goal for reduced emissions by 2016. We helped set up an interactive air quality kiosk in 2014 so Prince George residents can access real-time air quality data and see how it is improving.
Canfor Pulp and our employees are active participants in community activities in Prince George, where three of our mills are located. When the city hosted the Canada Winter Games in February 2015, I welcomed the opportunity to be executive chair of the Host Society, and was proud that hundreds of our employees volunteered at the event.
It was a special honour to work alongside the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, the first Official Host First Nation in the history of the Games. For three years, Canfor Pulp has supported the work of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation Fisheries Program, which is monitoring the endangered white sturgeon to better understand its habitat needs. In 2014, we renewed our support of this important initiative for two more years.
The Canada Winter Games also gave us an opportunity to invite high school students from our operating communities across northern British Columbia to come to Prince George so they could enjoy Games events and learn more about our wide range of career opportunities. The students saw for themselves what makes Canfor Pulp a preferred employer. Our culture of safety, innovation and engagement helps us attract new employees, and our promote-from-within culture gives them exceptional opportunities for career advancement.
At Canfor Pulp, we maintain our leadership by understanding and meeting the many elements that make up sustainability.
President, Canfor Pulp