CertforChile and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), our National members in Chile and North America, have both successfully achieved the re-endorsement of their national forest certification systems. This endorsement not only confirms that they continue to meet our globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks, but also ensures that certified forest owners and companies in these countries continue to benefit from the global acceptance of PEFC. The first endorsement of the Chilean system back in 2004 was particularly significant as, alongside Australia, it became the first non-European country to be recognized by PEFC. Since then, almost two million hectares of forest have been certified in the country. The SFI program became a PEFC National member in 2001, with the SFI Forest Management Standard achieving PEFC endorsement for the first time in 2005. The SFI program has now grown to cover more than 100 million hectares of forest area in both the United States and Canada – nearly 40% of all PEFC-recognized certified forest worldwide.
You’ve heard about ecosystems: the way all living things in a given area interact with each other and their environment. There’s a similar concept in sustainability called “industrial ecology,” which is the notion that industrial processes benefit from mimicking the closed-loop efficiency, or circular economy, of a natural ecosystem.
Here at Domtar, we’re focusing on building circular economies at each of our mills. Our Plymouth and Marlboro mills, for example, produce nutrient-balanced fertilizers for agricultural crops. And now, our Windsor Mill is closing its sustainability loop by giving back to the 400,000 acres of forestlands that support its operations.
André Gravel, Windsor Mill’s fiber manager, says it’s all about rethinking waste. “The point is to stop talking about waste and instead talk about how you can make something out of what used to be waste,” he says. “There’s much more than one way to do that, but the idea is circularity.”
The mill and its operations are an integral part of a circular economy that starts with trees. Trees harvested from the mill’s forestlands through responsible forestry practices are treated carefully to ensure the highest value for their fiber. The sawmills that receive the higher-value wood send the lower-value wood — such as bark and excess chips — back to the mill for other uses. The mill uses chips to make pulp and paper, and it burns bark to produce steam, which dries the mill’s paper and powers its turbine generator. The generator produces electricity that’s sold to Hydro-Québec to power homes in the surrounding communities.
Finally, the mill returns manufacturing byproducts to the forests it manages in the form of a stabilized mixture of potassium-rich wood ash, acid-balancing lime and other soil amendments that are used as a fertilizer to grow new sugar maple trees. The Windsor Mill also puts those sugar maple trees to work while they’re growing by allowing local maple syrup producers to harvest sap from the trees.
In addition, Gravel says the mill now uses sludge — a slushy effluent mixture from the pulp- and paper-making process that used to be its single largest waste stream — as a fertilizer to help grow hybrid poplar trees.
more at: https://newsroom.domtar.com/windsor-mill-circular-economy/