Resolute contributes to the circular economy by minimizing the amount of waste generated by our operations and maximizing the value of resources in our care. Our approach includes recycling, energy recovery and identifying beneficial-use alternatives, such as agricultural land spreading, to reduce waste sent to landfill.
Here are some highlights from our 2020 sustainability reporting, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards.
Resolute diverted 74% of pulp, paper and tissue mill residues from landfill in 2020, and we continued to advance our waste disposal programs by increasing the amount of waste we recycle or repurpose. Since 2018, these measures have allowed us to reduce the amount of solid waste sent to landfill by 5%.
In 2020, we also continued to repurpose waste for energy, recovering nearly 11% of the waste our manufacturing facilities produced for use as fuel, significantly reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and supporting our production of green energy.
The beneficial use of products derived from waste is a key driver of the circular economy. These alternative uses include spreading certain waste – such as organic waste and sludge – on agricultural land, a process that fertilizes soil with nutrients. Pressed, dehydrated sludge – a by-product of the pulp and paper making process – is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, which just happen to be two of the most important nutrients for growing plants.
All of our Quebec pulp and paper operations utilize agricultural land spreading or energy recovery as a beneficial-use alternative. In the United States, our Menominee (Michigan) recycled pulp mill has been spreading its sludge for several years, while our Grenada (Mississippi) newsprint paper mill also diverts its bark boiler ash for land spreading.
We will continue to optimize resources to add beneficial value and minimize waste in order to grow the circular economy and reduce the environmental impacts of our manufacturing processes. We invite you to learn more by visiting the Waste Management section of Resolute’s corporate website.