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Paper Sourcing Matters: A Look at Bell Canada’s Paper Procurement Process

procurement process

Leading companies around the world are increasingly aware of their environmental impact, with many executives taking a closer look at sustainability, especially when it comes to their company’s paper procurement process.

“It’s all part of the larger movement toward greater transparency and accountability that the public is requiring of companies now,” says Dan Persica, Domtar’s senior manager, sustainability communications. “More than just giving lip service to sustainability, having a clear sustainability policy provides companies with something they can strive for and be held accountable to.”

Bell Canada’s Paper Procurement Process

For Bell Canada Enterprises, which operates Canada’s largest communications network, a commitment to greater sustainability and a more transparent paper procurement process began in the 1990s, after a significant tire fire in Quebec made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

“It resulted in a lot of bad press [for the company involved],” says Stephanie Berger, senior specialist — Corporate Responsibility & Environment for Bell Canada. “It was then that our executives realized that we had similar environmental issues that posed risks and could have reputational consequences. Basically, it was an environmental wakeup call at someone else’s expense.”

Bell Canada responded to that call by building an environmental team of 14 people focused on integrating sustainability into every part of the company. Among the team’s achievements is Bell Canada’s ISO-14001 certified environmental management system and its annual Corporate Responsibility Report.

The team also took a close look at the company’s paper procurement process to ensure it fit into the overall sustainability strategy. As a result, Bell Canada began working with Domtar in 2006 to update its paper procurement process. Aside from choosing sustainable paper products, Bell Canada worked with Domtar over several years to educate team members on:

  • The impact of papermaking for both virgin and recovered wood fiber
  • How to choose products that meet both company needs and environmental goals
  • The benefits of third-party forest certification
  • How to make informed paper-purchasing decisions that align with corporate goals

Additionally, Domtar provided Bell Canada with a variety of hands-on learning opportunities, including tours of the responsibly managed forests near our Windsor Mill that are used to source some of the paper products used by Bell. These events helped illustrate the connection between Bell Canada’s paper procurement process and its overall environmental, social and economic impact. They also demonstrated the benefits of sustainable procurement to Bell Canada’s executive leadership team.

Learn more about how a culture of sustainability benefits business, and discover some best practices for encouraging sustainability among your vendors.