For the third time in its history, the Université de Sherbrooke is honoring an organization that reflects the values of the University by awarding it the 2021 Grand Distinction award. This year, the choice fell to Chantiers Chibougamau, represented by Mr. Michel Filion, Director of Operations at Chantiers Chibougamau. The award ceremony took place this Thursday, May 26, at the Institut quantique.
Being able to position itself as a reference company in the niche of high value-added forest products is rooted in values such as excellence, excellence, innovation, sustainable development and integration into its community. Values that are presented by Chantiers Chibougamau and that shine for more than 60 years. These same values have allowed her to forge strong associations with many partners who share the same values as her, including UdeS.
It is a real surprise and a great honor to receive this award today. We have immense respect for the Université de Sherbrooke, both for the talents that develop there and for the relevance of the research carried out there. In Chibougamau, Landrienne, Lebel-sur-Quévillon and Montreal, the 1,150 people who are part of the company and who choose to promote trees with us can take a break to see that the energy we put into always being better than we were the day before is object of such recognition from a major university institution in Quebec.
Mr. Michel Filion, Director of Operations at Chantiers Chibougamau
The importance of resources
Chantiers Chibougamau built its model on an integrated development chain. From the forest to the structure, the company makes every effort to take care of its primary resource and ensure its renewal. Modern technologies make it possible to optimally extract the fiber from the tree and then the wood chip residues are recycled into kraft pulp, a pulp that in turn makes it possible to produce tissue paper and recyclable packaging products. and compostable. This vertical integration chain is to their credit and demonstrates their concern for optimal resource management.
By defending the values of sustainable development and the environment, Chantiers Chibougamau works with respect for ecosystems and biodiversity. All these values and environmentally friendly practices have allowed the company to receive dozens of awards for excellence over the last few years. It also became the first private forestry company in the boreal forest and the first supplier of certified engineered wood in North America to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
The company is based on values that promote listening and mutual help, privileging a simple management method, as its founder, Mr. Lucien Filion. Even at 94, Mr. Filion still visits factories and offices almost daily! The staff members who make up the large Chantiers Chibougamau family are located in four Quebec cities, and the company takes care of them by inviting them to showcase their know-how. By minimizing the impact of its operations on the forest, the company demonstrates its concern for local communities and develops solid and harmonious ties with them.
The University is proud to award the Great Distinction award to a company concerned with its environment, which plays a considerable role in the social and economic development of its community and which shares with UdeS the human values of equity, diversity and inclusion. By awarding this award, we hope that the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit embodied by this company will inspire our university community and Quebec society as a whole.
Prof. Pierre Cossette, Rector
A wood with many properties
Solid wood, lumber and engineered wood: the company pushes the limits of fiber to create custom projects. Solid wood is now essential everywhere on the planet to fight climate change, while Quebec’s leadership can be seen particularly in North America and Europe, particularly through Chantiers Chibougamau’s Nordic materials and skills developed in Quebec. . More than 3,000 major construction projects have been completed using these northern Quebec solid wood materials, which have excellent thermal properties, great design versatility, and numerous eco-friendly attributes. They allow nothing less than to multiply the new architectural possibilities! In addition, a building made with this wood produces less greenhouse gases than a building made of concrete.
Some Chantiers Chibougamau at UdeS!
Not only was engineered wood from Chantiers Chibougamau used for the construction of the Institut quantique, but it was also used for the construction of the Research Pavilion in Human and Social Sciences. This building is the first building built in Sherbrooke to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, based on sustainable development practices and respect for the environment.
With our new bachelor’s degree in construction engineering, our chemical engineering and biotechnology engineering programs, and our acoustics research group, we look forward to continuing to develop major projects with her.
Prof. Jean Proulx, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering
In terms of research and development, work began between Professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Olivier Robin, a member of the Acoustic-Signal-Human Research Center at the University of Sherbrooke (CRASH-UdeS), and Nordic Structures to optimize the acoustics offered by the cross-laminated wood panels. Its objective is to guarantee acoustics as good, or even better, than that of current buildings that use more traditional materials, such as concrete or steel.
Audacity, energy, risk tolerance and humility characterize the builders of Chantiers Chibougamau. They are proof that, in 2022, it is still possible for a company to base its DNA on practices that respect its natural and social environment. Over the years, Chantiers Chibougamau has become a real economic and social locomotive in Nord-du-Québec. Thus, given the growing interest of our society in making better use of its resources, the company will certainly continue its growth, surprising us with other large-scale projects and significant partnerships. One thing is certain: the future is bright for Quebec’s flagship forestry industry.
About Chantiers Chibougamau
It was in 1961, in Nord-du-Québec, that Chantiers Chibougamau was founded, employing five people at the time. The company then specialized in transforming black spruce into solid wood beams, intended for mines in the Nord-du-Québec region. Very quickly, the company continued its expansion by creating its subsidiary Nordic Structures, specializing in engineered wood. It then acquired the Landrienne sawmill and, in 2018, purchased the Lebel-sur-Quévillon kraft pulp mill, which had been closed since 2005. It currently employs more than 1,150 employees in four locations. The history of the Filion family and the adventures of Chantiers Chibougamau were chronicled by André Poulain, professor in the Department of History at the Université de Sherbrooke.