Resolute Expands its Eco-conscious Align Paper Grades
Grades use up to 50% less fiber as well as less energy and fewer chemicals
MONTREAL, March 24, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) continues to expand its Align™ brand of environmentally responsible and budget-friendly papers by adding two more superbrite grades, Hybrid and Alternative, to the company's existing offerings of Ecopaque, Equal Offset and Resolute Max.
"We now offer five different eco-friendly grades in multiple configurations under our Align brand," said John Lafave, Senior Vice President, Pulp and Paper Sales and Marketing. "Customers have even more choice of paper grades that reduce fiber consumption and save money without sacrificing the quality of their printed product."
Specific grades that will be added to the Align umbrella include Hybrid Smooth, Hybrid Vellum, Hybrid Envelope, Alternative Book, Alternative Offset and Alternative Opaque produced at the company's Calhoun (Tennessee) mill, as well as Alternative Offset and Alternative Book produced at the Alma (Quebec) mill. Align's Hybrid grades are high-yield, opaque offset papers used for commercial printing such as comics, direct mail, directories, envelopes, inserts and manuals. Align's Alternative Offset papers are ideal for a variety of print applications, including book publishing, financial printing, annual reports and direct mail.
Resolute's Calhoun mill made significant advancements in reducing its environmental footprint in 2013, which qualify certain of its products to become part of the Align family. One of the most important changes involved shifting Calhoun's energy source from coal to natural gas, considerably reducing the mill's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Align papers are made with up to 50% less wood fiber compared to freesheet paper, and have an environmental footprint 35% to 85% smaller than the average freesheet grade - including some containing recycled content. In addition, by delivering higher opacity and bulk at a lower basis weight than traditional freesheet, Align helps reduce paper, postage and transportation costs. With Align, environmentally- and value-conscious customers can choose from a range of bright, opaque, high-bulk papers that are designed to meet their specific needs.
The thermo-mechanical pulping process used to produce Resolute's Align family of papers applies heat and mechanical grinding to wood fibers. With this process, 90% of the wood fiber is used, and it also delivers a marked improvement in efficiency over the chemical pulping process employed to make competitive traditional freesheet from kraft pulp. In the chemical pulping process, the lignin, which is the organic 'glue' that holds the wood fibers together, is removed, and only about half of the original wood fiber is used.
The Align brand's thermo-mechanical process keeps the lignin in the sheet, along with the cellulose and hemicellulose, which provides the mechanical pulp with higher opacity and greater bulk. The lignin's presence also allows Align papers to be produced with only half the amount of wood fiber needed to make traditional freesheet.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. The Company owns or operates over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally-recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic. Resolute is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, in which businesses establish ambitious targets to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work aggressively toward achieving them.
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