Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 4, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Trees and wood buildings an important climate ally: NY Times

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 4, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Forest ecosystems and wood buildings can be our most important climate ally: New York Times. In related news: an Ontario study affirms the carbon value of long-lived wood products; new guidelines coming for BC’s tall timber; and Woodrise wraps in Quebec, moves to Kyoto in 2021.

In Business news: Jock Finlayson on the bad-news BC forest crisis; Northern Pulp says its effluent plan will have minimal impact; US ups duties on Chinese cabinets; and Vietnam to curb trade fraud linked to US-China trade war. Meanwhile, a look at Nova Scotia’s newest protected areas; and toilet paper substitutes fail to catch on.

Finally, Resolute’s Yves Laflame, and BC politicians Heyman and Weaver receive honours. Congrats!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Cariboo-Prince George candidates address forestry at Quesnel forum

By Ronan O’Doherty
The Williams Lake Tribune
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

All five candidates for the federal riding of Cariboo-Prince George were front and centre for a… forum. …A particularly relevant question for Quesnel was: What will your government do to help with job loss in the forest sector? The Green Party’s Kerr, who is a forestry student…“We want to ban the export of raw logs,” she said. …Kerr also suggested that she would push to ban spraying forested areas with the herbicide glyphosate. Doherty followed, saying we have job losses that are taking place right now. “We do not have a softwood lumber agreement, which is amplifying the fact that the cost of doing business [is high]. …The Liberal Party’s Calogheros said there is still much hope for the industry in the riding. “Forestry built this part of the area. …I don’t see that it’s going to go the way of the dodo bird.”

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MLA Donna Barnett reports on UBCM, logging truck rally, and Rural Dividend Program

By Raven Nyman
100 Mile House Free Press
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MLA Donna Barnett attended the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in Vancouver …Barnett and the mayor of Williams Lake, Walt Cobb and the chief of the Williams Lake Indian Band, Willie Sellars met the convoy of loggers who travelled down to Vancouver … “We were on a corner waiting for them and talking to people from the Lower Mainland,” said Barnett. “It made a huge, huge impact. There were so many people out there thanking them and recognizing them. It was quite an exercise. To me, it was well worthwhile. Those logging truck drivers came on their own, paid their own fuel, and there were lots of families with them in their pick-up trucks. I just sincerely hope that the government wakes up and realizes the need for this industry in British Columbia because what amazes me is that Alberta is working, the other provinces are working.”

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WestJet aircraft returns to Calgary – unable to land at Penticton airport

By Mark Brett
Penticton Western News
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coming on the heels of warnings about possible flight cancellations and delays at Penticton Regional Airport, an inbound flight Saturday night was forced to return to Calgary when it was unable to land here. …It’s not known if the decision by Transport Canada to reduce the runway threshold (shorten the landing strip) was a factor in the turn back. The runway was shortened by 470 feet because of an obstacle at the north end of the runway, a 70-foot high exhaust system at Greenwood Forest Products mill which Transport Canada advised could affect specific navigational aids that could cause problems for some flights at night or in poor weather. …Meanwhile, Transport Canada is working with Greenwood Forest Products to try and find a solution to the problem which has resulted in the shortened runway. [On September 27 there was another story on this topic in the same paper]

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Princeton mayor proud of forestry protesters

By Andrea Demeer
BC Local News
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

“It was a proud moment to see those trucks running through the city.” That’s how Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne summed up the highlight of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver. “When our loggers showed up and drivers, I think it really sent an important message…They are the backbone of B.C.” …Coyne said he was able to meet with several protesters from the Princeton area. Fifteen trucks rallied in Princeton at the Chevron parking lot before joining the movement. …Cook fingered mill curtailments and stumpage fees as two of the biggest challenges facing loggers. He said local contractors were shut down for eight weeks this summer, and that had ripple effects through the area’s economy.

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And now the bad news about B.C.’s economy

By Jock Finlayson, executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC
Victoria News
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jock Finlayson

…Through July, the value of provincial exports was down by three per cent from 2018 levels. The forest industry has suffered the biggest blow, with wood product exports sagging by around 20 per cent. There is little chance of a meaningful export recovery in 2020. The rolling economic crisis in the forest sector is another significant negative in B.C.’s economic picture. Mills are closing … across the province. Forestry provides one-third of B.C.’s merchandise exports. The number one issue in forestry is the diminished supply of timber, which is pushing up fibre costs for B.C. sawmills even as North American lumber prices remain low. Higher log costs have led to increased stumpage levies, at a time when the industry cannot absorb rising government-imposed charges. …The footprint of the forest sector is set to contract… Unfortunately, provincial policies and the lack of attention being given to the long-term commercial heath of the export industry is making the transition harder…

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Northern Pulp report on effluent pipe proposal forecasts no significant impacts

The Canadian Press in CTV News
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — A report by the Northern Pulp mill on its controversial effluent treatment plant proposal says the millions of litres of treated wastewater to be pumped daily into the nearby Northumberland Strait will have no significant impact on water quality or marine life. The Nova Scotia Environment Department, which ordered the report last March, posted thousands of pages of documents from the company on its website for public comment Thursday afternoon. …The report says the impact on lobster in the area around the pipeline outfall would be “generally minor, localized and generally reversible.” …It says its submission includes environmental baseline studies, archaeological investigations, water modeling, engineering designs, and Mi’kmaq ecological knowledge studies. …The public now has until Nov. 8 to submit comments… a final decision on the effluent treatment plant by Dec. 17.

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Nova Scotia pulp mill submits focus report to province on effluent proposal

The Canadian Press in Canadian Manufacturing
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX – Northern Pulp has submitted a required focus report to Nova Scotia’s Environment Department for its controversial effluent treatment plant proposal. The pulp mill near Pictou, N.S., was asked for the report by former environment minister Margaret Miller, who said following an environmental review in March that her department needed more information about the plan. The department says the new focus report will be available online within 14 days, once its staff have done a preliminary check to confirm it’s complete. …Company officials have said that if their plan to pipe 85 million litres of treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait is not approved, the mill will close. The province’s Liberal government passed legislation in 2015 that gave the mill until Jan. 31, 2020, to come up with a new treatment plant project.

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New Landrie Lake utility granted extension by Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board

By Nancy King
The Cape Breton Post
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. — The provincial regulator has approved a request by the Town of Port Hawkesbury and the Municipality of Richmond County for an extension in the deadline for filing its first general rate application for their newly formed water utility. Earlier this year, the province reached an agreement for the municipalities to take on ownership of the Landrie Lake water system. Landrie Lake, located in Richmond County near Point Tupper, is the water source for the Town of Port Hawkesbury, but also for multiple industrial customers in the Port Hawkesbury area, including Port Hawkesbury Paper, Nova Scotia Power and NuStar Energy.

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U.S. Slaps More Duties on Chinese Wooden Cabinets and Vanities

By Joe Deaux
Bloomberg Economics
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The U.S. Commerce Department slapped more duties on wooden cabinets and vanities from China in a sign of the challenges awaiting negotiations when the two countries resume trade talks next week. The Commerce Department said Thursday it will ask U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of those products based on a preliminary antidumping duty rate of as much as 262%. Commerce issued the preliminary determination in response to a petition by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance filed earlier this year that alleged at least $2 billion in harm from Chinese shipments. …All other Chinese producers and exporters that cooperated in the investigation will be charged a duty of 39%, while those that did not respond to the inquiry received a levy of 262%.

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Weyerhaeuser: Ex-employee stole $4.5 million from company while she worked in Springfield office

By Maxine Bernstein
The Oregonian
October 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

An ex-accounting manager who worked at Weyerhaeuser’s Springfield office is suspected of stealing at least $4.5 million from the timber company by contracting with bogus vendors, including one in her mother’s name. A federal judge in Oregon this week ordered the former employee, Susan L. Tranberg of Eugene, not to liquidate or transfer any of her assets. Tranberg, 60, had worked for the Seattle-based company for 42 years, court records indicate. …Company officials say in court papers that Tranberg defrauded the business for at least 15 years by creating fake vendors and approving payment to the vendors by forging co-workers’ signatures. She also would hack into colleagues’ computer systems without authorization or their consent, the officials allege.

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Legal framework for ‘Made-in-Việt Nam’ products to curb trade fraud

The Viet Nam News
October 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Việt Nam has recently found cases of foreign enterprises falsely labelling their products as originating in Việt Nam to illegally benefit from the free trade agreements the country is a member of and avoid trade defence mechanisms. …Some commodities have gained unusual export growth since the start of US-China trade tensions, including wood. The wood import turnover has increased sharply in the first eight months of this year. China is the largest market for Việt Nam, with 21.1 per cent of the market share. This has raised concerns over origin fraud. ….Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade…Unusual export growth is the first important sign of origin fraud. However, sudden increase in exports may occur for a variety of reasons.

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Finance & Economics

Interest Rates And The Lumber Market – An Opportunity Over The Coming Weeks

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
October 4, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

We are heading into the offseason for construction and lumber is just below the midpoint in 2019. The winter is a time of the year when construction projects slow down and demand building raw materials decline. …The Fed has acted twice, and the market thinks a third move is coming before the end of this year. Lumber is highly sensitive to interest rates in the US for new home building. …A dovish Fed going into 2020 could ignite the lumber market once again as mortgage rates decline.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Guidelines Under Development for Mass Timber Buildings up to 12 Storeys

Engineers and Geoscientists BC
October 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Engineers and Geoscientists BC, in partnership with the Government of BC and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC), plans to develop professional practice guidelines in support of the expected legislative changes in BC that will allow construction of mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys. The new guidelines will support the Government of BC’s May 2019 announcement that it is proceeding with a regulation to allow construction of tall mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys. The new provisions are expected to be introduced in the National Building Code 2020, but will be adopted in BC in advance of the national changes. Previously, when the transition from four-storey to five- and six-storey wood frame buildings was introduced in 2009, the BC Government, Engineers and Geoscientists BC, and AIBC felt that the provincial building code alone was not the appropriate document to effectively address a variety of design issues related to this change. Valuable experience was gained in developing a coordinated approach to address a variety of significant design issues, and this coordinated approach was supported by professional practice guidelines. 

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Building with wood: climate-change ally and sustainable skylines

By FPInnovations
Cision Newswire
October 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC CITY – The second edition of the Woodrise international congress came to a close today on a very positive note. This event, co-organized by FPInnovations (Canada) and the FCBA Technological Institute (France), brought together over 800 participants in Québec City at the Centre des congrès de Québec, September 30 – October 4. In total, delegates from 29 countries, representing all continents, took part in this international forum to share the latest advances in mid- and high-rise wood construction, and to promote the use of wood in tomorrow’s sustainable cities. This unique international event concluded with the announcement of the next Woodrise Congress, to be held in Kyoto, Japan, in the fall of 2021, under the auspices of the Japan International Association for the Industry of Building and Housing (JIBH). … “We are honoured to host Woodrise 2021 and to bring this important international forum into the Asian market”, declared Mr. Hideki Nose, Chairman of the JIBH Steering Committee.

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Let’s Fill Our Cities With Taller, Wooden Buildings

By Frank Lowenstein, Brian Donahue and David Foster
The New York Times
October 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Across North America, trees stand ready to help us solve the climate crisis. …This opportunity arises from cross-laminated timber… it enables architects and engineers to design tall, fire-safe and beautiful wood buildings. …The energy embodied in the materials for new buildings around the world — mostly steel and concrete — accounts for 11 percent of global carbon emissions. …Wood, in contrast, is forged from sunlight. A study by scientists from Yale University and the University of Washington showed that expanding wood construction while limiting global harvesting to no more than the annual growth could produce a combination of emissions reduction and carbon sequestration equivalent to eliminating construction emissions altogether. …Additional benefits come from the fact that these new wood technologies make it affordable to construct mid-rise housing of six to 12 stories. …To stabilize climate and support the wood building revolution, we need to stop the conversion of forests to other uses.

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Hemp hardwoods, bioplastics expand crop use beyond CBD

United Press International in Gephardt Daily
October 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — Most U.S. farmers are growing hemp for cannabidiol, but hemp-based hardwood and bioplastics businesses have sprouted up this fall, expanding the newly legal crop’s potential. Hemp has been promoted as a plant material that can be made into 50,000 different products, but uses other than extracting CBD — a compound found in marijuana that doesn’t get you high — have been slow to grow. Murray, Ky.-based HempWood opened a 15,600-square-foot factory last month with the introduction of a wood-substitute plank made from hemp. The pressed boards are 20 percent denser than oak, and the plant material can be grown in six months as opposed to 200 years for an oak tree, the company, Fibonacci LLC, said. Hardwood panels, which can be used for flooring, furniture and other woodworking projects, are based on a technology adapted from the bamboo industry, said John Crye, the company’s director of sales and marketing.

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Forestry sector has a role in fighting climate change

By David Robinson, Laurentian University
Northern Ontario Business
October 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

David Robinson

A study by the Ontario Forestry Research Institute describes Ontario’s forestry sector as “the managed forests AND the harvested wood products (HWP) originating from these forests.” …The question the researchers were trying to answer… is whether our forests are any good at carbon capture and sequestration. …There is no doubt that there is a huge stock of carbon caught up in Northern Ontario trees and soils. The trouble is that mature forests give off about as much CO2 as they capture. …Harvested wood products do store carbon, however. Using the new definition, Ontario’s forestry sector increases global carbon stocks by 4.5 metric tonnes per year. …The Ontario Forest Research Institute scientists… concluded that: “Over the long term, harvesting sustainably managed forests is better than protecting forest from harvesting, as long as the wood is used to produce more solid HWP and more of these HWP are used in long-lived end uses.”

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Forestry

Planned Extinction Rebellion protest aims to shut down some of Canada’s busiest bridges

The Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist
October 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A group of environmental activists is planning to try to shut down some of Canada’s busiest bridges on Monday by having protesters lie down or sit in traffic lanes. The Extinction Rebellion group’s targets include the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria, Angus L. Macdonald Bridge over Halifax Harbour, the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver and the Prince Edward Viaduct in Toronto. In a Facebook post, the Victoria-based #BridgeOut Campaign said: “the bridge to the future is being demolished by big oil, and oily politicians.” The group said emergency vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians will be allowed through and expects to start the sit-in at about 7:30 p.m. “This escalation of tactics is the minimum of what’s necessary to give young people a fighting chance at a decent future,” said the Victoria group’s Facebook post. “We regret that ordinary people will be frustrated by the commute disruption, but the collapse of human society would be a much bigger inconvenience.”

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A future for Lady Rose

By John Gleeson
Sunshine Coast Reporter
October 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

History buffs and mariners of all stripes will be thrilled to learn that Sechelt’s Clayton family has acquired the last of the Union Steamships with the intent of restoring her as a public asset. While their plans for the Lady Rose are yet to be finalized, the idea of turning her into a public exhibit in Sechelt… and establishing a museum to celebrate the history of the Union Steamship era, has enormous potential to enrich B.C.’s cultural life… Dick Clayton, the driving force behind the project, does not exaggerate when he compares the importance of Union Steamships in the development of the B.C. coast to the role played by the railways on the Canadian Prairies. From its founding in 1889 to well into the 1950s, the company provided a vital supply link to otherwise isolated logging, fishing, farming, mining and First Nation communities. The Union Steamship fleet carried industrial freight, consumer goods, mail and people.

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A closer look at Nova Scotia’s newest protected lands

By Chris Miller- executive director of the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
The Chronicle Herald
October 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Earlier this week, the Nova Scotia government announced that it has created 17 new protected areas, and it will establish an additional 10 new protected areas before the end of the year. The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society welcomes the protection of these important places. In total, about 14,000 hectares of additional land will be conserved. Some of these new protected areas are well known. Others are not. But, all of them are important for conservation. Given the very large industrial footprint that covers much of the Nova Scotian landscape, it’s absolutely crucial to establish protected areas where nature conservation is prioritized and traditional uses are maintained. A tremendous amount of work has gone into identifying these areas and in making sure that they receive the required legal protection. Here’s a quick description of several of these new protected areas.

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Judge, citing impacts to grizzlies, blocks Kootenai logging project

By Eve Byron
The Billings Gazette
October 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is needed for a logging project on the Kootenai National Forest, after a federal court judge ruled Thursday that potential impacts to grizzlies from ineffective road closures wasn’t fully explored. Calling it a “close question,” U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy granted the Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ request for summary judgment, and remanded the case to the national forest for additional scrutiny, despite the creation of an earlier supplement to the draft EIS, which contained seven pages of grizzly bear analysis.”… While the agency considered bear disturbance and displacement, the actual effects analyzed were limited by its assumption that public use would be effectively restricted,” Molloy wrote. 

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Natural Allies

By Sander Gusinow
Oregon Business
October 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…It might sound counterintuitive at first. Why could folks learning how to preserve forests learn from those who make a living chopping them down? But the timber industry in Oregon has come a long way since the spotted owl battle of the 1990s, both culturally and technologically. …Although conservationists and the forestry industry have had their differences over the years, Cherie Kearney, forest conservation director at Columbia Land Trust, says at the end of the day conservationists and loggers have the same goal: keeping forests and forestry around forever. …Despite the efforts of conservation nonprofits, timber producers in Oregon still have a tendency to skirt environmental regulations. …Despite the board reporting 98% compliance with state regulations… made the compliance findings unreliable.

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Toilet Paper’s Environmental Toll Rises as Alternatives Fail to Catch On

By Peter Beller
Karma Sustainable Business News
October 3, 2019
Category: Forestry

If you’re like most American consumers your toilet paper was recently a decades- or centuries-old tree in Canada’s boreal forest that was cut along with some one million acres last year. The chlorine and other chemicals used to make it a sinless, fluffy white devastate the environment. Worst of all, says Jennifer Skene of NRDC, you’re flushing a vital resource for combating climate change down the toilet — in the form of trees absorbing carbon — mostly because advertising has convinced you that you should. The good news: green alternatives exist that cost just a bit more. The bad: They’re making little headway with consumers… despite a crop of hip, millennial-focused startups hawking toilet paper, tissues and paper towels made from greener sources. …Allen Stedman, CEO of BC-based Planet Inc… guesses that eco-friendly products have perhaps 2% of the market and if anything, it’s going in the wrong direction. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Minister Heyman and Weaver receive top sustainability award

By Office of the Premier
Government of British Columbia
October 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two B.C. leaders have received top honours for their work on building the Province’s CleanBC plan to fight climate change and put B.C. on the path to a cleaner, better future. George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party, were honoured at the Clean50 awards in Toronto for their contributions over the past two years to advance sustainability through a credible climate and economic plan. …Heyman and Weaver were also recognized as part of the Clean16 awards presented to the top Clean50 recipients in categories that include clean tech, renewable energy, manufacturing and transportation, and sustainable finance, among others. …The Clean50 awards are presented every year by Delta Management Group, an executive search firm for professionals working in the environmental sector.

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Yves Laflamme Honored for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability and Clean Capitalism

Resolute Forest Products
October 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

We are proud to announce that Yves Laflamme, Resolute’s president and chief executive officer, has been named to Canada’s 2020 Clean50 and 2020 Clean16 by Delta Management Group for his contribution to sustainability and clean capitalism in Canada. The awards were announced on October 3 during the Clean50 Summit 9.0 held in Toronto (Ontario), where over 125 past and new honorees gathered to discuss critical sustainability challenges facing Canada. Yves Laflamme was specifically recognized for advancing key carbon reduction and plastic pollution initiatives. When he took charge of Resolute in February 2018, the company had achieved a 76% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to 2000 levels. Mr. Laflamme initiated a $29 million project at our Thunder Bay (Ontario) pulp and paper mill, including $14.7 million to reduce the mill’s annual GHG emissions by over 20%, as well as a $61 million strategic investment plan at our Saint-Félicien (Quebec) pulp mill, including $21.5 million to reduce GHG emissions by 20%. 

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