By: The Working Forest Staff
SAINT-HYACINTHE, QUE – Tissue and packaging manufacturer Cascades is encouraging employees to switch to electric vehicles, with direct financial incentives and infrastructure development.
The company has installed twenty-two 240‑V charging stations and one 480‑V fast charging station at its various plants in Kingsey Falls, Que. In addition, Cascades will offer a $2,000 financial incentive for employees who acquire an electric vehicle in the next year – a supplement to the government grants in effect.
Mario Plourde, president and CEO of Cascades, made the announcement at the Salon du véhicule électrique de Saint-Hyacinthe trade show alongside Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, and André Fortin, Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification.
“Since its beginnings, Cascades has been focused on innovation that reduces its environmental footprint and sets an example in sustainable development. Knowing that a change in transportation habits is required to make a substantial dent in GHG reductions, we believe that this unique pilot project is an important gesture for the future,” Plourde stated.
The $2,000 incentive for new electric vehicles will initially be limited to the 1400 or so employees based in Kingsey Falls. These employees will be able to charge their vehicles for free at the 23 new and the 7 existing charging stations. With a total of 30 charging stations available for a resident base of approximately 2,000, Kingsey Falls is now Quebec’s most “plugged-in” city.
“Cascades’ employees care about environmental issues. In fact, an internal survey revealed that 63 per cent of our employees are considering purchasing an electric vehicle in the near future. As a responsible employer, we would like to help them turn intentions into action. We will assess the results of the program in a year, with the goal of extending it to all of our units in North America where it’s possible to reduce the greenhouse gases,” added Plourde.
The fast charging station is open to the public, any drivers, travellers, tourists passing through the region. This is believed to be the first fast charging station available at an employer’s site, and the first free charging station in Quebec. “Thanks to this major investment, Cascades is demonstrating strong leadership, and showing that it wants to contribute actively to the development of our electric transportation infrastructure. Through this initiative, it stands out as one of the most forward-thinking employers in Quebec,” said Louis Tremblay, president and CEO of AddÉnergie, the charging station manufacturer contracted for this project.
Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres.