A bold vision, a solid commitment and profound action: that is the best way to describe tissue manufacturer Kruger Products' landmark five-year Sustainability 2015 program, which has guided the firm's journey to reduce its environmental footprint since 2010. The company produces well-known brands such as Cashmere and Scotties.
"We are the market leader, and with that comes the responsibility to lead in terms of sustainability," explains Mario Gosselin, Kruger Products CEO. "Sustainability 2015 was definitely a stake in the ground for Canadian companies."
Kruger Products' actions, which earned the company's vice president, sustainability and innovation, Steven Sage, recognition in the 2016 Clean50, established specific performance and target objectives in seven key areas: fibre, packaging, energy, emissions and transportation, as well as water and waste.
The company's commitment incorporated an organization-wide culture shift in addition to large, strategic capital investments to help achieve the specific targets.
Kruger's action has translated into quantifiable results, including:
an 18 per cent reduction in total water consumption, the equivalent of 1,500 Olympic-size swimming pools;
a 20 per cent decrease in energy consumption throughought its Canadian operations; and
the diversion of more than 14,000 garbage trucks away from landfills (and sparing of 1.7 million trees) by utilizing 100,000 tonnes of recycled fibre annually.
"We feel very good about the progress we've made and that there are tangible results. That has helped both our bottom and top lines, as well as the obvious impact on the environment," according to Mr. Sage. "At the time, it seemed very bold and it's definitely less bold today because it has become the way we do business, and that's what pleases me the most."
Kruger Products is now going one step further and putting the final touches on its next environmental initiative, Sustainability 2020, to be released in the coming months. Mr. Sage says the plan will be focused more on environmental initiatives that will impact energy, emissions and water.
"It will have more aggressive targets and presents an opportunity for us to operationalize this type of initiative across the entire organization," says Mr. Sage.
According to Mr. Sage, focusing on overall sustainability is a good business decision because it is an opportunity to help generate revenue, reduce costs and meet stakeholders' expectations.
"Consumers, customers and employees expect us to act. And we're building on the sustainability journey that started in 2010."
This content was produced by Randall Anthony Communications, in partnership with The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation