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Pulp and paper maker’s report lauds use of renewable energy

Last year the vast ­majority of energy used by Paper ­Excellence’s pulp and paper mills came from renewable sources, while the company kicked just over $1.
photo rolls of newsprint
Rolls of newsprint for newspaper production. TIMES COLONIST

Last year the vast ­majority of energy used by Paper ­Excellence’s pulp and paper mills came from renewable sources, while the company kicked just over $1.7 billion into Canada’s GDP according to a new sustainability report released by the company Tuesday.

The report is the first of its kind for the pulp and paper firm, which has seven Canadian manufacturing facilities including two on Vancouver Island at Port Alberni and Crofton.

The report is designed to ­better introduce the company to neighbours, customers, regulators and stakeholders.

“Paper Excellence’s core ­values embrace company ­citizenship, community ­support, and bettering of our ­environmental and social ­performance year over year,” said vice-president Graham ­Kissack.

“This report embodies those aspirations with an honest and balanced view of our strengths and the areas we can improve.”

In the report, the company lauds its use of renewable energy — 77 per cent from ­biomass and another seven per cent from renewable hydro electricity — and says its ­greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 60 per cent since 1990.

The report does concede that a large part of the reduction in emissions last year was due to curtailments at some of its operations.

Last spring it shut down a paper machine at Powell River due to a malware attack that affected the company’s IT systems, while parts of Crofton’s mill were closed last year due to the combined impact of that ­malware attack, a fibre shortage, the COVID-19 pandemic and reduced global paper demand.

The company remains bullish on coastal operations, however, and announced this year that it would be permanently closing its Mackenzie pulp mill in the Interior in order to concentrate investment on the coast.

Paper Excellence noted it employed 2,395 people at the end of last year and contributed $1.7 billion directly to the ­Canadian economy.

The company’s report said it stimulates employment beyond its facilities with an estimated 7,960 jobs indirectly created and sustained, and another $1.6 billion of indirect and induced economic benefit.

The firm reported it paid just over $23.2 million in taxes last year, $4.9 million from its Crofton operation and $4.4 million from Port Alberni.