Pulp and Paper
Canfor Pulp has an unmatched focus on innovation, and we are committed to using resources responsibly and efficiently to create more value with less impact on the environment. We use sawmill residues such as chips, bark and sawdust, converting half of it to high-quality white pulp fibres, and using the rest to generate green energy.
In 2013, our Prince George Pulp Mill earned the Pulp & Paper Technical Association of Canada’s first Environmental Strategy of the Year Award for significant improvements to environmental performance over the last decade.
Air and Water Quality
Canfor Pulp has been active in airshed management since our mills were built in Prince George in the 1960s. In 2014, we created an interactive air quality kiosk at Prince George’s Exploration Place science centre so residents can access real-time air quality data and see how the city’s air quality is improving.
We have realized significant air quality benefits from strategic capital investments and studies by FPInnovations found this led to a significant drop in the percentage of time odour is detectable.
- Odour reduction technologies in the 1980s decreased Total Reduced Sulfur levels from our Prince George pulp mills by 80%.
- An upgrade to a recovery boiler at our Northwood pulp mill reduced odorous sulphur gas emissions by a third, particulate emissions by half and natural gas use by 466,000 GJ a year.
Our mills in Prince George use water drawn from the Nechako and Fraser Rivers – about 98% is returned to the rivers, and about 2% is consumed in the manufacturing process. We continue to improve our water use, and recent upgrades to the feed water system at our Prince George Pulp Mill reduced both heat and water losses.
Canfor Pulp supports the work of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation Fisheries Program, which is monitoring the endangered Upper Fraser white sturgeon to better understand its habitat needs.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In the last two decades, greenhouse gas emissions from our mills have dropped steadily, and our greenhouse gas eco-efficiency index has more than doubled. This means we are using natural resources in processes that maximize efficiency and minimize environmental impacts.
After the pulp cooking process, we are left with strong, dark-brown cellulose pulp. If we continue cooking to remove the last traces of lignin, this would affect the strength of the fibre. Some applications – such as super-strong paper sacks, electrical transformers and manila envelopes – can make use of brown pulp but most printing papers require a white furnish.
Canfor Pulp employs the Elemental Chlorine Free process (ECF) to lighten the pulp and remove the lignin and impurities that remain at the end of the cooking process. This has become the preferred and dominant bleaching system for pulp worldwide, and uses combinations of oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide. It replaces elemental chlorine, which was discontinued when it was found to be producing persistent, toxic by-products.