Green Energy

Resolute Forest Products’ commitment to climate action is focused on green energy and 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. 

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 is collected at the mill level and aggregated by our corporate Environment team.

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, we replaced the remaining coal used at our operations with natural gas, a less-carbon-intensive fuel, becoming scope 1 coal-free at 100% of our facilities. Over the years, we have also reduced bunker C oil use at our Clermont, Dolbeau and Saint-Félicien mills in Quebec, and initiatives are currently underway at several other facilities to reduce the use of natural gas in favor of biomass or electricity utilization.

The energy used in Resolute’s pulp and paper production comes primarily from its network of seven hydroelectric and five cogeneration facilities, and the balance of electricity and fuel is purchased 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 2022, we also added a thermal power generating facility to our network in Senneterre, Quebec.

More than three quarters of our total energy needs (79% / 10,887 GWh) in 2023 were generated from renewable sources, such as hydroelectricity and biomass.

Fuel Energy and Electricity Consumption

At Resolute, 76% of fuel energy usage (7,441 GWh) is derived from carbon-neutral 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, avoiding 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 33% of its electricity needs internally (owned and self-generated), mostly from renewable sources. The remainder is purchased from third parties. In 2023, the combined amount of purchased and self-generated electricity we used in our pulp and paper mills totaled 4,623 GWh. We also sold an additional 578 GWh of self-generated electricity to external stakeholders.

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. For more information on climate and energy-related risks, please see our CDP Climate disclosure.

Fuel Energy and Electricity Consumption
  2021 2022 2023
Fuel energy used (TJ) 51,606 37,881 35,162
Electricity used (TJ) 18,027 16,990 14,773
Purchased electricity (GWh) 3,620 3,679 3,104
Self-generated electricity (GWh) 2,060 1,717 1,518
Renewable energy as a % of total energy
(including purchased electricity)
77% 79% 79%

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 have received extensive recognition. In 2022, and for second consecutive year, the Big Awards for Business recognized Resolute with the Sustainability Leadership Award for taking bold actions to reduce GHG emissions, combat climate change, and making sustainability an integral part of our business practice. In the same year, the World Sustainability Awards highly commended Resolute in the Sustainability Excellence category for our commitment to and leadership in clean energy production and for our GHG reductions.

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.