A North Carolina farmer increasing his crop yield while using less conventional fertilizer.
A town in Sweden keeping 250 buildings comfortable with a single heating plant using renewable fuel.
A teacher in California upping the learning curve for her students by linking handwriting with information technology.
Not the stories one might expect from Domtar – North America’s largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper, a global leader in pulp production and an innovative manufacturer of baby diapers and adult incontinence products. But these interconnections – the “win wins” – are at the heart of sustainability, just as sustainable wood fiber is the common link across Domtar’s businesses.
Our employees around the world are making positive connections between our economic interests, the ecosystems upon which we depend, and the communities of which Domtar is a part. Examining the sustainability of our decisions is now a natural step in our quest to optimize our performance and enhance long-term shareholder value.
But our sustainability report is more than a collection of anecdotes and a sampling of “best practices.” What I see, as Domtar’s chief executive, is evidence of a culture in which the benefit of connecting our business strategy to sustainability principles is instinctively understood. Our Board of Directors has made sustainability a central component of our corporate governance by establishing a permanent committee that routinely reviews and guides the development and execution of our sustainability agenda.
Indeed, we have determined that our current competitive advantage will be enhanced by accelerating our greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Having already reduced these emissions nine percent from 2010 levels, we are now striving for the efficiency benefits that would be realized from a 15 percent reduction by 2020.
We are similarly determined to lower our capital and operating costs, not to mention environmental risk, by reducing the amount of material that we send to landfills by 40 percent. We are also equipping ourselves to make better water management decisions by examining the full cost of our water use, recognizing that the majority of this cost is from pumping, treating and heating the resource.
We measure what matters. Putting goals on paper and reporting on progress is a powerful process. In many ways, this process itself delivers the true value of thoughtful sustainability reporting. I hope your reading of our sustainability report will be as helpful to your own sustainability interests as preparing it was to ours.