The world is moving toward a circular economy. At Resolute, we are continuously seeking opportunities to divert residues from our operations toward beneficial uses.
Over 70% of our residues are repurposed
Resolute’s approach to resource optimization is multi-pronged, and includes recycling, energy recovery and identifying beneficial-use alternatives. This approach aims to divert production residues away from landfills. In 2021, 36% of our residues were repurposed for beneficial uses such as agricultural land spreading, 18% recycled, and 17% recovered for use in energy production. Wherever possible, we also compost cardboard, clean wood waste and pallets. In all, 71% of our pulp, paper and tissue mill residues were diverted from landfill last year.
Creating value in agriculture
Sludge is an organic by-product of the pulp and paper manufacturing process, and it’s rich in nitrogen and phosphorous – essential nutrients that support plant growth. Sludge can be dehydrated and pressed, then provided to farmers to spread over their fields. Wood and bark ash from pulp and paper mill boilers can also be repurposed for land spreading. Our operations across Quebec and Ontario, as well as our Menominee (Michigan) recycled pulp mill and Grenada (Mississippi) newsprint mill, participate in land spreading projects. Check out our blogpost to learn more!
Black liquor is a by-product of the kraft pulping and biosolids are residues from the water treatment process. These materials, along with bark, can be burned to generate energy for powering our operations. By channeling these materials away from landfills and into our biomass boilers, we’re not just optimizing resources – we’re reducing our fossil fuel consumption and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their use.
We produce 45% of our electricity needs internally, in part through cogeneration, which burns biomass; and 75% of our fuel energy usage (14,019 GWh) is derived from biomass.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, Resolute has set annual and long-term targets related to waste reduction and fiber efficiency:
- In 2022, we are aiming to record fiber losses (that is, residues) of no more than 39 kg per metric ton of production at all our pulp, paper and tissue mills.
- By 2026, we intend to reduce the volume of materials sent to landfill by 15% at all our pulp, paper and tissue mills compared to 2018.
- By 2026, we are also striving to optimize the long-term carbon capture of our wood products by improving roundwood consumption at our wood products facilities by 0.125 m3/mfbm compared to 2021.
Our efforts to optimize resources, minimize waste and create value don’t just generate cost savings – they’re helping to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, while contributing to the growing circular economy.
To learn more, visit the Key Performance Indicators page of Resolute’s corporate website.