Richard Garneau, President and CEO of Resolute Forest Products, kicked-off PaperWeek 2014 with a keynote address, to an overflow crowd, about the challenges facing the forest products industry today and its challenges to adjust to market conditions and stiff competition, to squeeze out costs and to remain competitive in a difficult economic environment with limited capital resources.
He also stressed the need to replenish a mature workforce and to ensure the company's operations are sustainable.
He emphasized that a successful forest products producer must make cost reduction initiatives, manage product inventory levels, make mill process innovations, adjust supply chain management with initiatives that customer want and make disciplined capital investments aimed at the future. A focus on safety was a top priority, as well. All of this requires some creative, innovative thinking, he says.
He noted the need to get more value from fiber resources, producing sources of green energy to reduce costs and gain extra revenue. Protecting water resources was also a priority. New possibilities for extra revenues, as outlined in FPAC's Vision2020 strategy, included stretching the value of harvested trees, developing new products from cellulose fibre and chemical by products could generate some of the extra revenue projected.
He states that the future success of the forest products industry is driven by diversification, workforce renewal and sustainability. He says that sustainability is a driving business force; in fact it is engrained in business strategies. But it is more than a commitment to the environment ; it includes social and economic priorities. That is to say, preserving jobs and social structures as well as the environment.
More info on PaperWeek Canada 2014, click here