PLANT

Green from start to finish


June 29, 2009
by Corinne Lynds, PLANT

The Cascades Tissue Group is the fourth largest producer of tissue paper in North America.

Photo: Corinne Lynds

With the Obama government’s focus on environmental concerns, more manufacturers will be scrambling to catch a ride on the “green” bandwagon as it bumps its way through town. But Cascades Inc. has a commanding head start with environmental initiatives and innovations that are simply part of the company’s culture.

It’s one of the country’s top manufacturers of 100% recycled paper, making products that are designed with environmental preservation in mind. Founded by the Lemaire brothers in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres for consumer and business-to-business customers.

About Cascades:

“Our father started recycling by necessity because he was unemployed,” explains Alain Lemaire, president of Cascades. “He sorted garbage and recovered it to earn a living in an attempt to bring in some revenues.”

Recycling, resale and sorting helped grow the family business, which eventually evolved into papermaking.

Today, with roughly 14,000 employees worldwide and more than 100 production units across North America and Europe, the paper manufacturer is divided into three divisions.

Its Norampac division focuses on corrugated packaging, operates 45 plants and mills in Canada, the US and France, plus a packaging and innovation centre.