Scappoose rolls out the welcome mat for a state-of-the-art tissue-converting plant.
The humble hand towel has a straightforward mission: to get your hands dry and clean, quickly and easily.
But what if a paper product could also make you feel good — about the company you’re supporting whenever you reach for that towel, and about the impact that choice has on your business, community and planet?
Belief in the power of paper is at the heart of Cascades Inc.’s vision for a cutting-edge plant recently built from the ground up in Scappoose, Oregon.
The Cascades Tissue Group Oregon converting plant will employ 80 full-time workers in the production of its paper products, many from eco-friendly fibers, on three of the world’s fastest converting lines, at a max rate of about 6-million cases per year.
This means a steady supply of cost-effective, environmentally friendly towel and tissue products to all the places where Oregon does its most important business. That’s good news.
It also means a steady supply of jobs for Columbia County, Oregon, provided by a company with a proven commitment to community and sustainability. And that, say those who helped guide this facility from concept to completion, is great news.
Running on Green
“All clean, all good™” is the guiding ethos at Cascades PRO, professional division of Cascades Tissue Group, and that means much more than simply creating a quality end product, notes Benoit Alain, executive vice president, Cascades PRO.
Cascades Inc., its 53-year-old Canadian parent company, has always zeroed in on sourcing, manufacturing and delivery, too, he says: “Long before sustainable development became fashionable, we were putting it into practice. It’s part of our DNA.”
Cascades minimizes waste and uses old materials to make new ones whenever possible: It annually recycles 3.2 million short tons of fiber, and its processes use 1.3 times less energy and 4.2 times less water than American industry averages. (That’s enough water to fill 1.5 million 21-foot above-ground swimming pools annually.)*
Those values are on proud display at the new Scappoose plant, to be vertically integrated with the Cascades PRO paper plant in neighboring St. Helens, with St. Helens producing the paper and Scappoose converting it into finished products.
“The short distance between the two locations allows for reduced fuel consumption and lower greenhouse-gas emissions, both of which are key sustainability efforts for Cascades,” says Sandra Hudon, vice president, sales, North America, Cascades PRO.
From there, the paper products, manufactured right in Columbia County, will make their way to boardrooms, break rooms and bathrooms up and down North America’s West Coast.
While attending the plant’s July 18 inauguration, Oregon Governor Kate Brown noted the state had invested half a million dollars into the facility, which reestablishes Oregon as a home for natural-resource-based industry.
“In a time when rural jobs are disappearing across the country, this facility will create full-time jobs for Oregonians,” she said.
Cascades PRO itself invested $64 million in the plant, but this project was a cultural fit as well as an economic one, noted Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge, also in attendance at the inauguration: “This is probably one of the greenest plants around, and one of the most technologically advanced … It fits into what our vision is for this area.”
Local residents, many of whom currently commute out of town for work, are jazzed on the employment opportunities, and so is Burge.
For Columbia County, he says, the new plant’s arrival is nothing short of huge: “Through these types of projects, we’re rebuilding those jobs we lost and never brought back.”
* Sources: Cascades’ 2016 Environmental Data and American Forest and Paper Association, 2014
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