From the ground up, biotechnology in our operations is growing and making a big difference in our environmental footprint and the efficiency of operations that sustain good paying jobs. Research investments are also helping find a better way forward for the future.
Cavendish Farms Research Centre
Over the last several summers, the growing season has changed in Prince Edward Island with hotter temperatures and less precipitation at critical times. This has been a real challenge for PEI growers and places the potato crops at risk.
Cavendish Farms’ new Research Centre officially opened on September 17, 2020 in New Annan, PEI. The $12.5 million facility is an investment in the sustainability of PEI’s potato industry. The Research Centre will study different potato varieties while the plant breeding program will cross various combinations to breed and select a variety that is suitable to the challenging conditions currently faced on PEI.
The new research facility will have 6 state-of-the-art greenhouses and will allow Cavendish Farms to conduct important research year-round. Different lines of potatoes with promising traits such as superior yields, size characteristics, and a reduced environmental footprint specific to soil, climatic and seasonal conditions on PEI will be evaluated.
Environmental Impact through Biotechnology at Irving Pulp & Paper
Irving Pulp & Paper's living biological system called a Moving Bed Bioreactor (MBB) is naturally transforming waste by digesting this organic matter from the pulp making process. This biological material accumulates on small plastic discs that continuously circulate through the reactor. This biological digestion removes over 90% of the waste in less than 2 hours and ensures that the final effluent is in full compliance with all environmental regulatory limits.
This unique application of treatment technology meant that Irving Pulp & Paper in Saint John, NB was the only Kraft pulp mill in the world to operate without a conventional secondary treatment plant for many years.
Today, this type of biotechnology is used for wastewater treatment within the Pulp and Paper industry on an ever-increasing basis to meet environmental regulations which are evolving globally.
At Irving Pulp & Paper, our technical team is building on our extensive expertise and experience and evaluating a next generation MBB pilot plant process for potential use in the new wastewater treatment plant being planned for the mill.
Biotechnology for wastewater treatment is helping address current environmental challenges and providing further opportunities into the future that will help sustain over 300 jobs at this mill.
Lake Utopia Paper
At Lake Utopia Paper, organic waste in making liner for cardboard boxes is now generating biogas to fuel the mill and reduce the use of fossil fuel. The result is a 25% reduction in the carbon footprint at this mill near St. George, N.B. which employs 150 people.