Five things we've learned from this crisis

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Let's face the good facts - Together.

As we celebrate Earth Day and deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a new normal is being formed – in business and in our communities. Here are the first five facts we’ve learned so far:

1. The Earth will heal if we give it time to breathe. Pollution over China actually decreased because of the distancing protocols put in place during the pandemic. NO2 emissions dramatically decreased when Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province — the original epicentre of the outbreak — were locked down. Los Angeles also saw a significant decrease in pollution during some of the most intense social distancing days. In fact, according to CNN, EPA data shows that in March of this year, the Los Angeles area saw the longest stretch of good air quality since 1995.

2. Our isolation became inspiration. How do we stay connected when we must remain apart? From the south to the north of Italy, residents of apartment buildings and tower blocks sang and played instruments from their balconies – a trend that spread across Europe and even to Sweden. This is a community project that has no reason to go away as life returns to normal. Not only did this teach us a new way to be together, it showed that, while the pandemic was global, so was the potential for joy and a new way to be together.

3. We acknowledge and honour the people who make a difference. Americans have been urged to cheer from their windows on a regular basis to show support for health care workers. And at 7 pm Friday, March 27, New Yorkers took to their windows to applaud and cheer for health care workers – the new celebrities. #ClapBecauseWeCare quickly started trending. Cascades would like to take this opportunity to extend heartfelt thanks and raise our voices to sing the praises of those who toil tirelessly in essential services – health, maintenance and grocery workers, and of course, our mills and delivery employees.

4. Maybe we shouldn’t simply “bounce back”. This implies a return to the status quo. Instead, let’s use this experience to leverage the best parts of ourselves and our businesses and build something better. The Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo has noted that overall 2020 may still see a drop in global emissions of 0.3% – less pronounced than the crash of 2008-09, but with an opportunity for less rebound if efforts to stimulate the economy are focused towards sectors such as clean energy.

5. Leading by example is the most productive action. Responsible leadership is part of the very DNA of Cascades. For instance, we are proud to be named one of the Green 50 by Corporate Knights for being pioneers of recycled tissue as a core business. Cascades was making recycled paper and tissue products more than a decade before the Forest Stewardship Council came along. Cascades now saves 45 million trees every year by using recycled paper rather than virgin wood pulp and is the largest collector of paper fibres in Canada. We are also honored to be named 49th of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World and only Containers and Packaging company on the list​ out of 57 companies evaluated. What made us stand out in this forum is our high percentage of clean revenues from eco‑friendly products, the diversity of our board of directors, the CEO-to-employee pay ratio, and the fact that we include sustainable development objectives in performance evaluations. But we don’t stand on our laurels. We continue to push for more certifications for our products and to develop sustainable initiatives across the entire company. This consistent commitment is essential to the planet’s (and our own) continued health.

We’re sure that, as a leader in your own field, you’ve also noticed how this worldwide pandemic has made us re-think our lives and how we do business. Let’s all come clean and realize this is an opportunity for a fresh start.


Source: Cascades PRO®