The company has long understood that delivering on our sustainability commitments – such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions – through innovative initiatives makes a broader contribution to society and to the advancement of environmental technology, while ensuring our global competitiveness and generating value for our shareholders over the long term.
The town of Saint-Félicien (Quebec) had been evaluating the viability of an economic development project to build a greenhouse that could use the energy produced at the town’s thermal power plant to grow vegetables. When Resolute offered to donate a 45-hectare property adjacent to our Saint-Félicien pulp mill on which to build the greenhouse – and to supply enough hot water from the mill to cover 25% of the greenhouse’s heating requirements – the project took off.
Toundra Greenhouse was formed in 2014 as a partnership between Resolute (49% equity interest), the City of Saint-Félicien and over 50 local investors in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. Inaugurated in December 2016, the $100 million greenhouse already covers 1 million square feet (8.5 hectares), produces 45 million Lebanese and English cucumbers annually, and employs over 100 workers. By 2020, the complex will cover 4 million square feet (34 hectares) and create 500 jobs in the region.
Additionally, Resolute and Toundra Greenhouse have joined forces with CO2 Solutions Inc. to reduce carbon emissions at the Saint-Félicien mill by reusing captured CO2 in the greenhouse. A carbon capture unit has been built to collect up to 30 metric tons of CO2 per day from the mill for controlled injection into the greenhouse, enhancing photosynthesis.
“What is unique about this project is that beyond the environmental and social benefits, it demonstrates Resolute’s ability to foster reinvention of a regional economy,” explains Yves Laflamme, Senior Vice President, Wood Products, Procurement and Information Technology, and a member of Toundra Greenhouse’s board of directors. “Creative partnerships are becoming a hallmark of Resolute’s business strategy, and Toundra Greenhouse is just one example of our ongoing work with our operating communities to promote sustainable economic growth.”
What makes Toundra Greenhouse a success worth emulating?
- It proves that economic development can go hand-in-hand with carbon footprint reductions. This first-of-its-kind initiative in the industry is not only good for the environment; it will also generate significant economic and social benefits in the Lac-Saint-Jean region.
- The greenhouse is an economic success: 95% of the produce is already sold and more than 100 workers are employed, with 500 jobs expected to be created by the time the project is completed.
- The complex will recover 11,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of removing 2,300 vehicles from the road every year. The majority of CO2 captured at our Saint-Félicien pulp mill will be used by Toundra Greenhouse to accelerate plant growth.
- 90% of the greenhouse’s water requirements are fulfilled by recovering rain water and snow.
Toundra Greenhouse has been recognized by Canada’s prestigious Clean50 organization, landing it on the Clean50 Top20 Projects list for 2018. These awards recognize outstanding sustainability or “clean capitalism” projects from across Canada that innovate, inform and inspire Canadians to do more. This is the third time Resolute has been honored by Canada’s Clean50. Visit www.clean50.com to learn more about Toundra Greenhouse and other Clean50 project award winners.
To view the Toundra Greenhouse video, click here.
For more information about Toundra Greenhouse, visit www.serrestoundra.com.