Tuesday, 18 March 2008

White Stuff And Green Business: Recycled Paper Company Has a Good and Bad Week

The last few days have been good ones and bad ones for Quebec paper company Cascades. Part of the roof on its sorting facility north of Montreal collapsed a week ago because of snow accumulation, But the “green” company got a boost Monday when the Globe and Mail reported that its paper towels were recently found to be the only product among 1,018 supposedly ecologically correct items made by many companies that wasn’t fudging green credentials.

The Globe’s story said that TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc. checked out products sold in big box stores against their claims, and only Cascades was telling it straight. According to the story, Cascades was begun in the 1950s when Antonio Lemaire found himself blacklisted for union organizing in a textile plant. To make a living he turned to recuperating industrial and municipal waste, in effect recycling long before the practice became the thing to do. A half century later, his son Alain directs a company that is poised to break into larger markets, the Globe’s story said.

Cascades recorded a small profit in the last quarter of 2007, much better than it had done in the same period the year before. Its products include toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, wipers, and a line of fine papers. For a complete list of products and outlets, check out the website.

As for the problems caused by damage to the plant, the company is assuring customers that it will be business more or less as usual. Sure hope so: it would be too bad if all that white stuff did in what appears to be a green enterprise worthy of encouragement.

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