Rolland, the Pioneer
BESIDE x ROLLAND
Text : Catherine Métayer & Caroline Paquette
Illustration : Thaïla Khampo
In partnership with
We can thank Jean-Baptiste Rolland’s solid entrepreneurial instincts for putting his paper company on the map. In 1842, along with his eldest son, he founded the Librairie J. B. Rolland & Fils, a prosperous Montréal-based bookstore. Energized by his success, he built on that momentum and opened the Rolland Paper Company in 1882, in Saint-Jérôme.
While the commercialization of recycled paper was a priority for the company early on, it was only over a hundred years later, in 1989, that this project really took off—technology and environmental awareness had caught up with the company’s goals. From then on, Rolland repositioned their brand around selling paper with the highest recycled fibre count on the market. And though at first they faced difficulties convincing printers and consumers to trust the irreproachable quality and critical environmental relevance of post-consumer waste paper, they soon established themselves as a leader in the growing recycled paper sector.
Never a company to rest on their laurels, they eked out another competitive advantage in their field in 2004 when they became the first North American paper manufacturer to adopt the practice of using biogas created by decomposing landfill waste. What’s more, this was an initiative spearheaded by an employee. It quickly became cost-effective and radically reduced the company’s environmental footprint—the lowest in the industry today. Biogas actually fills 93 per cent of the plant’s energy needs. Every year, that represents a 70,000-ton reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, an amount equivalent to the emissions of 23,400 compact cars.
Even with their four environmental certifications (FSC, Ancient Forest Friendly, ECOLOGO, Chlorine-Free Process), the company continues to strive for improvement. One of their objectives is to track the life of their products—they communicate with clients more and more to recover their surplus and reuse them in the Rolland pulp plants—to avoid waste and move closer towards completing the cycle.
The key to Rolland’s creativity and leadership? A team on a human scale that can act with agility in an evolving industry.
Enviro Print is a paper made with 100 per cent post-consumer recycled fibres, which give it that distinctive look. But it’s made even more attractive by its light environmental footprint, resulting from several environmentally friendly processes coming together. The difference between the production of a short ton of Enviro and a short ton of paper made from virgin wood fibres is striking: in the former, 17 trees are spared. That’s rather significant on a large scale.
A Precious Ally
Here at BESIDE, we have been proudly printing on Rolland paper from the very first issue. Local, environmentally friendly, and made with re-cycled fibres, this paper mirrors our own values and reminds us to push harder towards realizing our own environmental ideals. Outdoor industry leaders—like Patagonia and Burton—also choose to integrate Rolland paper into their sustainable initiatives. We must also thank you, dear reader, for your increasing sensitivity to the quality and origins of the paper products you consume. Your standards act as powerful leverage, motivating us to put our money where our mouth is. But our creativity, as fertile as it is, isn’t enough: To be able to make a magazine that’s truly environmentally responsible, we need allies like Rolland, who are always ready to put their shoulder to the wheel.
Because we used Rolland Enviro paper instead of virgin paper to produce this issue, we saved: