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Paper Excellence Group restructures into three business units amid integration

New leadership focused on safety, growth, and efficiency in pulp, tissue, paper, and wood products divisions

In a significant move, Domtar, Resolute Forest Products, and Paper Excellence have restructured their operations under the Paper Excellence Group into three distinct business units: Paper and Packaging, Pulp and Tissue, and Wood Products. This reorganization was a step towards a more integrated and efficient company structure.

The Pulp and Tissue business unit is now led by Richard Tremblay, a seasoned executive with over 35 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry. Tremblay, originally from La Tuque, Quebec, and an alumnus of the University of Sherbrooke, joined Resolute in 2011. He was appointed to his current role in February 2024, having previously held various leadership positions within Resolute’s manufacturing operations.

In a recent address, Tremblay emphasized the importance of safety within the workplace. He stated: “We are focused on creating and maintaining a safe workplace and holding everyone accountable for safety. Our goal is zero injuries at every location. This is an area where we will not compromise”. Tremblay highlighted the Menominee mill’s achievement of surpassing 2.25 million hours without a recordable safety incident, showcasing the potential of a fully engaged workforce.

Looking ahead, Tremblay outlined his objectives for the pulp and tissue business for 2024. He noted that while the pulp market saw an upturn towards the end of the previous year, the ongoing integration of the Howe Sound, Meadow Lake, and Skookumchuck mills into Resolute’s portfolio positions the company well for continued success. Tremblay emphasized the use of continuous improvement and Lean Six Sigma tools to enhance productivity and efficiency across their operations.

The paper segment, having faced a demand decline and reduced operating time in 2023, is now focusing on optimizing capabilities and aligning production with customer needs. The tissue business, which saw recovery and stability in 2023, is now geared towards growth and profitability. Tremblay stated that a formal sales and operational planning process has led to significant improvements in shipping consistency and reliability, along with productivity gains at various sites.

Reflecting on the integration efforts, Tremblay shared his positive outlook: “I’ve gone through integration processes a few times in my career. In my experience, the key to a successful integration is to always keep an open mind from the start and communicate. I think we’ve communicated well, which has enabled us to do an excellent job of integrating the three distinct and complex companies”.

The integration process, according to Tremblay, has strengthened the organization for the future. He believes that by sharing best practices and combining strengths from all three legacy companies, the Paper Excellence Group will be more prosperous and offer more growth opportunities for employees.

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