Green Energy

Resolute Forest Products is committed to taking climate action and green energy, and we are always exploring ways to enhance our overall energy efficiency. Optimizing the use of renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity and carbon-neutral biomass, while reducing consumption of fossil fuels, is a key element of our strategy to improve our carbon footprint. 

Our focus on improving energy efficiency and replacing high-emission fuels like coal with less-carbon-intensive fuels also places Resolute ahead of potential regulations, positioning the company as a leader in greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and in the development of new, sustainable products that have a lower carbon footprint. Our efforts also positively impact Resolute’s market positioning and value creation for shareholders.

Energy-use and other projects that have an impact on energy consumption are linked with Resolute’s carbon management activities and are consequently managed through the organizational structures and procedures described on the Climate Change and Energy page. Data collected at the mill level is aggregated and verified by third parties.

Going 100% Coal-Free and Using Less Carbon-Intensive Fuels

Replacing high-emission fuels like coal with less-carbon-intensive fuels benefits both the environment and our bottom line. In 2014, for example, we replaced the remaining coal used at our operations with natural gas, a less-carbon-intensive fuel, in order to become scope 1 coal-free as of April 2014. We also reduced bunker C oil use at our Clermont, Dolbeau and Saint-Félicien mills in Quebec, and initiatives are currently underway at several facilities to reduce the use of natural gas and to promote biomass or electricity utilization.

The energy used in pulp and paper production comes primarily from steam and electrical power. Resolute generates power from its seven hydroelectric and six cogeneration facilities, and purchases electricity and fuel from external suppliers. Cogeneration refers to the simultaneous generation of electricity and steam, which allows us to extract more energy from a given amount of fuel.

In 2021, Resolute generated over three quarters of its total energy needs (18,690 GWh) from renewable sources, such as hydroelectricity and biomass.

Fuel Energy and Electricity Consumption

At Resolute, 75% of fuel energy usage (14,019 GWh) is derived from biomass.1 By utilizing bark, black liquor and biosolids for energy instead of sending these materials to landfill, Resolute is able to reduce fossil fuel consumption, as well as the GHG emissions associated with their use. A small portion of our fuel energy is sourced from other alternative energy fuels, primarily used tires, which diverts these materials from landfills and recovers the energy value.

Resolute produces 45% of its electricity needs internally (owned and self-generated), mostly from renewable sources. The remainder is purchased from third parties. In 2021, the combined amount of purchased and self-generated electricity we used in our pulp and paper mills totaled 5,937 GWh.

We see rising energy costs and power supply disruptions as risks that must be managed. For this reason, we continue to focus on improving the energy efficiency of our mills and maximizing internal cogeneration of heat and power from renewable sources.

Fuel Energy and Electricity Consumption
  2019 2020  2021
Fuel energy used (TJ) 70,686 70,358 67,295
Electricity used      
Purchased electricity (GWh) 4,761 3,474 3,265
Self-generated electricity (GWh) 2,709 2,815 2,646
Renewable energy as a % of total energy
(including purchased electricity)
75 75 78

graphs of the types of fuel used to produce steam at our pulp and paper mills

Using and Producing Electricity

graphs of the different sources of electricity at our pulp and paper mills

Continuous Improvement

We are constantly evaluating and improving our manufacturing processes to optimize energy efficiency and reduce our consumption of fuel, steam and electricity. This, in turn, reduces our scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions and helps to improve our cost structure and competitive position.

Our climate change mitigation efforts received extensive recognition in 2021. Among the many accolades, the Big Awards for Business recognized Resolute as Green Company of the Year for taking bold action to reduce GHG emissions and combat climate change. In addition, the company won bronze in the Best Corporate Sustainability Program category at the 2021 The Cleanie Awards® for our use of hydroelectricity and carbon-neutral biomass, and reducing our consumption of fossil fuels.

We will continue to focus on renewable energy sources by increasing the use of biomass and optimizing our cogeneration business, among other advances.

1 Does not include wood products. Includes bark and biosolids from our water treatment plants, as well as black liquor, rail ties and CRD material.