PAC: Raw Material, Package Machinery & Ancillary - Gold AND Best of Show - PAC Sustainable Packaging Leadership Award"

Strathcona Paper LP


The facility's environmental practices, sustainability initiatives and innovations in the manufacturing of recycled paperboard packaging substrates for consumer packaging are at the forefront of the North American packaging industry. Strathcona Paper is the only 100% recycled clay coated paperboard mill in North America to register it environmental management system under the ISO-14001 standard. In 2007, a single year of Strathcona Paper Mill's production, the positive environmental impact of using 100% recycled content helped our environment to save enough BTU's of energy... sufficient to power twenty-five thousand, two-hundred and forty-six homes for a year, as well as saving two- million, six-hundred and seventy-two thousand, eight-hundred and twenty-three trees, as measured by the environmental defence paper calculator. Since 2004, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 14% and the carbon footprint gets smaller each year. The mill's waste paper sludge compound is converted to an organic soil conditioner used by local farmers as compost. This organic matter improves clay soils; provides a rich carbon source for soil micro-organisms, provides crop nutrients, and improves the soil structure and its water holding capacity as well as reducing the amount of commercial fertilizer that farmers would otherwise have to use.

Motivation for Change

Strathcona Paper LP is committed to conducting its business and operations in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner and regularly reviews its environmental objectives and targets that are consistent with this Environmental Policy and Strathcona’s Environmental Management System.

Cost Effectiveness

Strathcona Paper’s Quality Management System is registered under the ISO-9001:2000 standard. Stringent Quality Management Systems ensure GreenChoice 100 has fewer product defects thereby providing enhanced productivity and faster turnaround.


Strathcona paperboard has a 3:1 MD:CD ratio (one of the highest in the industry). The superior block compression strength and stiffness permits folding cartons manufactured by converters using Strathcona paperboard to reduce caliper and therefore “right size” packaging without sacrificing performance on the filling line or in the retail arena. Agreement by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) for direct food contact also reduce the need for double packaging.

Strathcona Paperboard’s superior stiffness and block compression strength permits folding boxboard to be used as a substitute to litho laminate micro flute packaging applications, reducing the manufacturing process and energy consumption applicable to producing the package for the same goods.

Strathcona’s proprietary fibre recipes run at one of the lowest conversion rates of fibre to finished board in the industry reducing the amount of waste that would otherwise need to be diverted to landfill.


Strathcona Paper’s GreenChoice 100 is manufactured from 100% post-use recycled waste paper fibres. Approximately 65% of this post-use waste is post-consumer material and 35% is industrial scrap. The top-liner consists of pulp substitute fibres such as computer printout and sorted office waste paper with a recycled filler comprised of double lined kraft, old corrugated containers, boxboard and old newspapers. GreenChoice 100 can be produced with an application of special biodegradable sizing agent to provide moisture resistance to the paperboard.

Clean Production

ISO annual audits and the Environmental Management System ensure that Strathcona’s production processes are continually being evaluated and improved from an environmental performance perspective. In 2007 Strathcona Paper received Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Certification, the only North American recycled paperboard mill to achieve this standard.

Effective Recovery

Strathcona has arrangements with its customers to have waste clippings of its paperboard products returned to the Strathcona Paper mill as a fibre source. The paper sludge biosolids generated in the manufacture of all of Strathcona Paper’s products including GreenChoice 100 are composted and spread on farmers’ fields as a soil conditioning agent improving water retention in the soil and reducing the amount of commercial fertilizer that the farmer would otherwise have to use.

Community Benefit

The use of GreenChoice 100 as the paperboard substrate in a folding carton allows brand owners to use a number of eco-certified logos: TerraChoice Eco-Logo, GreenChoice 100 Logo and The Environmental Impact Logo on their packaging cartons. The Eco-Logo certifies and informs consumers that any product bearing this logo meets or exceeds a complete environmental lifecycle audit analysis, from energy and material consumed in production through to pollutants generated by their production, use and disposal. In using these eco-certified logos, brand owners have the opportunity to educate and demonstrate their level of responsibility and sustainability at shelf directly to the consumer.

Resource & Energy Optimization

All paperboard packaging substrates produced at by Strathcona Paper are made from 100% recycled materials. All the electricity consumed in the production of GreenChoice 100 is offset through the purchase of renewable energy credits. Strathcona mill has also reduced the energy consumed per ton of paperboard produced by 15% over the period 2003 to 2007, and carbon dioxide emissions by 14% from 2004 to 2007.

All carbon emissions produced in the manufacture of GreenChoice 100 are offset with the purchase of carbon credits.

Water used in the paperboard manufacturing process is cleaned and returned to the natural water source in a 100% closed loop recycling process. 85% of the water used in the paperboard manufacturing process is recycled, the balance is emitted in the form of steam.

Paperboard trim waste produced by converters who purchase Strathcona paperboard substrates is sold back to Strathcona Paper for recycling and is backhauled by Strathcona Paper’s transport fleet reducing the transportation involved if it was brokered out to the market.

Strathcona Paper mill’s ISO 14001 certification, ISO annual audits and Environmental Management System ensure that Strathcona’s production processes are continually being evaluated and improved from an environmental performance perspective, ensuring maximized sustainability.

Categories: PAC Award Winner General Packaging Facility/Process