Alain Lemaire, the greenest CEO!

Alain Lemaire, the greenest CEO of Canada.

For Alain Lemaire, Co-founder of Cascades, 2013 has without a doubt been a highly emotional year. Most significantly, he handed over the reins to Mario Plourde, who assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer on May 9. After 10 years at the head of the company, having followed in the footsteps of his brothers Bernard and Laurent, Alain decided it was time to make room for the younger generation, while continuing to serve as Executive Chairman of the Board. This year has also been particularly charged with emotion because of the numerous awards and honours bestowed on this Québec pioneer of sustainable development.

Canada’s Greenest Chief Executive 

On June 6, 2013, Alain was named Greenest CEO in Canada by Corporate Knights, an organization specialized in the promotion of good corporate practices in terms of social responsibility. This prestigious award, given for the first time, was presented at the Corporate Knight’s 12th annual gala. The gala also announced and paid tribute to Canada’s 50 best corporate citizens.

The jury unanimously chose Alain as winner of the award! The jury was made up of leaders from Canada’s five most recognized environmental organizations: Équiterre, the David Suzuki Foundation, World Wildlife Fund-Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Pembina Institute. According to Toby Heaps, President of Corporate Knights, “the jury recognized in Alain Lemaire a man who has a number of environmental achievements to his credit. Among these, are the ongoing concern to prioritize recycled fibres over virgin wood fibres as a raw material; the development of strategic partnerships to offer Cascades’ expertise, namely in energy efficiency and in the management of waste materials; and the continued willingness to improve the company’s results with regard to water and energy consumption.”

Québec’s Green CEO Award

This year, Lemaire brothers Bernard, Laurent and Alain also received a Green CEO Hommage award presented at the Green CEO Awards ceremony organized by Les Affaires and Trebora Conseil.

The mission of the Green CEO awards is to shine a spotlight on the initiative and exemplary contribution of business leaders in promoting sustainable development in their business practices. The judges also confer a Green CEO Hommage award on a well-known leader for lifetime achievement. Since the brothers work closely together, the judges named all three as recipients of the award this year!

It is interesting to note that Alain also won the Green CEO Hommage award in 2012, for his contribution to the business community and for his environmental values.

A “Phares” award for social responsibility

Under Alain’s leadership, Cascades won the “Phares” award as part of a contest organized by the magazine Les Affaires and Korn/Ferry International. The contest honours sound governance in regard to social responsibility.

For the past 11 years, the event has honoured companies and boards of directors who stand apart for ethical practices and excellence in corporate governance. This year, the judges decided to look at corporate governance specifically in regard to social responsibility. Cascades beat out the competition, capturing first prize in the “Corporate” category.

Prix d’excellence pâtes et papiers

Recently, the Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) conferred the “prix d’excellence pâtes et papiers” on Alain for his contribution to the Québec forest industry, specifically within the pulp and paper industry.

These numerous distinctions point to a general consensus: Alain Lemaire is recognized by industry members, the business community and environmental organizations, and it is quite safe to say that he is truly “green by nature!”

These well-deserved honours are the pride and joy of all Cascaders.

Bravo, Alain!

Print Print
About the Author
Hugo D'Amours

Hugo was appointed Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs, at Cascades in January 2013. He is responsible for the company's internal and external communications and acts as media spokesperson. Before joining Cascades, Hugo worked in the public sector for 15 years, where he acquired solid expertise in communications. He assumed the role of Press Secretary and Director of Media Relations for the Québec Premier. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Université Laval and a Masters of Public Administration from ÉNAP. Hugo is very involved in the business community, sitting on the board of directors of several organizations active in various business sectors. "I am very proud to be part of a company which has used sustainable development as the basis for its business model. I am eager to contribute to this jewel of the Québec economy, and to inspire a younger generation of entrepreneurs by sharing the company's story and achievements."

Related Posts