Northern Pulp’s customers from all around the world demand a product sourced from environmentally responsible forest management.

Through third party certification we are able to prove to our customer and our neighbors that we meet provincial and federal laws and regulations, and perform well beyond them. We are certified to the following third party forestry and environmental standards:


Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) Forest Management Certificate
Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) Chain of Custody Certificate
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™) Chain of Custody Certificate


  • We use and implement Ecologically-Based Planning on both a landscape and site level. Non-Harvest zones are identified and strictly enforced to allow for ecological preservation including: wildlife habitat, waterway buffers, riparian zones and wildlife corridors. Click here to view an example of an ecologically based plan. Example of an ecologically based plan

  • Independent 3rd party regulators perform audits of site treatment against planned approach to ensure compliance

  • Our Forest Advisory Group is comprised of local, independent experts in their field. The Advisory Group regularly provides input and holds Northern Pulp to account on our forestry practices.

  • We produce 23 megawatts of green energy & are almost self-sufficient in energy as a result

  • We are exploring options to expand our green energy production


Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation is committed to excellence in environmental and sustainable forest management as part of this commitment we are proud to provide those interested with Northern Pulp’s Environmental and Sustainable Forestry Policy


NPNS Summary of Regulatory Stack Testing Results and Limits


Northern Pulp Nova Scotia is committed to achieving excellence in environmental management for its pulping operations.

Improving environmental performance is a priority and will be achieved by implementing and maintaining good environmental practices. We recognize that the long-term future of our Company and local communities depends on the performance of our operations and care of the environment.

Northern Pulp Nova Scotia will:

  • Comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations, and other legal requirements;

  • Exercise environmental due diligence by ensuring that the environmental aspects and impacts associated with pulping, utilities and associated operations at facilities located at Abercrombie Point and Boat Harbour are identified, assessed and managed to minimize impact;

  • Consider future environmental impacts of contemplated changes to our manufacturing processes;

  • Encourage and maintain the involvement, training, participation and full engagement of our employees, to ensure full compliance with our environmental policy;

  • Communicate in a transparent and open manner with our employees, contractors and stakeholders;

  • Set objectives and targets and review performance annually;

  • Commit to continuous environmental improvement leading to a reduced environmental footprint.


Responsible production….and reduction

What we don’t produce matters as much as what we do produce. We’ve dramatically minimized our environmental footprint through the use of state-of-the-art technologies to clean our wastewater and air emissions.

Northern Pulp’s manufacturing processes has environmental impacts involving the consumption of resources, air emissions, waste generation and water discharge. We seek to minimize these by focusing on continuous improvement and establishing environmental management systems (EMS) at all our operating facilities. Our Environmental Operating Plan (EOP) identifies the environmental risks (and legal obligations) associated with the day to day operations of our business and specifies the management measures the Mill will implement in order to prevent or minimize the environmental impacts associated with our operations.

Environmental performance is managed at the local mill level, with top-level oversight by the Paper Excellence Group. Guided by our Environmental Policy, the mill environmental department is responsible for compliance with local laws and regulations and for facilitating continuous improvement.

Reducing our Environmental Footprint

Our operation strives to continuously improve environmental performance in key areas. Detailed information on our air, land, and water reporting and data measurements are available on the  Key Performance Indicators page.

Environmental Footprint Comparison Tool

Minimizing the environmental footprint of the forest products industry requires understanding the interactions among various parameters.

The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) has developed the Environmental Footprint Comparison Tool (EFCT), a web-based information resource designed to help convey the challenges faced in simultaneously meeting a broad array of environmental objectives.

This material is useful if you are looking to improve your environmental profile and you want to understand how one aspect (such as recycled content) may impact another environmental outcome (like greenhouse gas emissions).

There are eight manufacturing-related subjects covered by the tool. The website has three levels of detail so that users can drill down to the level of information needed.

NCASI is an independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on environmental topics of interest to the forest products industry.


In compliance with the Terms and Conditions of the Environmental Approval #2011-076657, effective May 10, 2011, Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation (NPNS) agreed to establish a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) as a formal consultation process with certain local stakeholders regarding NPNS’ environmental approval.

Northern Pulp’s CLC serves a very important role in providing advice and facilitating two-way communication between the local community and Northern Pulp. The CLC meets at a minimum twice annually, Spring and Fall as well as convening on an as-needed basis.

CLC members are fully informed on CLC matters, and participate in the CLC’s deliberations and decisions in matters concerning the CLC Terms of Reference, guiding principles and community consultations.

A summary record note of Northern Pulp’s CLC meetings will be prepared. Comments made by CLC members at meetings will not be attributed in the summary note, and CLC members will respect that confidentiality will be maintained on issues so identified in meetings when speaking with persons who are not members of the committee.

CLC Related Links include:




Forest Stewardship is vital to Northern Pulp.

We are one of the provinces’ largest land managers, overseeing 250,000 hectares of forested lands in Nova Scotia.  We believe in maintaining our forest resources to achieve a sustainable balance of economic, environmental and social benefits for current and future generations.  Over the past 50 years of managing lands in Nova Scotia we have helped set aside over 60,000 hectares of high conservation value lands so it can be put into permanent protection.


We are committed to sustainable forestry and the long term health of the forest and forest industry.  Our managed lands and forestry practises are certified to third party forestry and environmental certification standards which include Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and ISO14001.  We strive to continually improve our forestry practices based on the best available science.

Trees are a renewable resource that provides countless products we use every day.  Our tree nursery in Debert grows six million trees annually for replanting. This facility supplies 100% of our seedlings for regenerating our managed lands, and supplies other forestry companies with seedlings.


Private woodlot owners, forestry contractors and sawmillers are pivotal partners to our supply chain and to the rural economy of Nova Scotia, providing approximately 500 rural jobs. Northern Pulp and our sawmill partners are uniquely connected through producing high value forest products resulting in Northern Pulp being the largest supplier of sawlogs in Nova Scotia. Northern Pulp is also the provinces’ largest purchaser of sawmill chips.


Water management

While a significant amount of water is required to make pulp, our operation returns more than 90% of the water withdrawn back to the environment. The water is also reused within the mill in order to maximize efficiency. The balance remains within the product or evaporates during the manufacturing process.

All the water used in our pulp and paper making process passes through our effluent treatment plant prior to being returned to the environment.

It is important to our stakeholders, including the people in the communities in which we operate, as well as required by government regulations, that we use the necessary technologies to return good quality effluent to surface waters.

At Northern Pulp, we know that our pulp manufacturing process has environmental impacts related to the consumption of resources.

Our goal is to minimize those impacts by going beyond legal and regulatory requirements. Our approach is based on continuous improvement and includes implementing environmental management systems (EMS) at our operating facility.

Northern Pulp employs the Elemental Chlorine Free process (ECF) to lighten the pulp and remove the lignin and impurities that remain at the end of the cooking process. This has become the preferred and dominant bleaching system for pulp worldwide, and uses combinations of oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide. It replaces elemental chlorine, which was discontinued when it was found to be producing persistent, toxic by-products.

Three key areas in which we monitor performance include:



Air Emissions


Northern Pulp manages its air emissions using generally accepted pollution control technologies to minimize emissions of such contaminants as sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and total particulate matter (TPM) concentrations that result primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels. We have also adopted broader measures such as switching from heavy oil (bunker C) powered boilers to cleaner fuels such as natural gas and biomass. Northern Pulp has made significant investments to ensure we meet and even exceed regulations. A new Electrostatic Preciptator (ESP) has been installed on the Recovery Boiler and operational since September 2015.

Northern Pulp will continue to invest in pollution control technologies to maintain regulatory compliance and improve odor control. Northern Pulp reports on NOx, SO2 and TPM, as these are the most relevant pollutants in our industry for which regulatory obligations have been set.


The existing Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) that is used by Northern Pulp must be closed by 2020, in accordance with the Boat Harbour Act. A new treatment facility will need to be designed and constructed to allow the mill to continue operation.


The ETF will be designed, built, and operated using current best practices.Dillon Consulting is guiding Northern Pulp through the Environmental Assessment process, including the extensive public and stakeholder consultations required prior to officially registering the project with Nova Scotia Environment in late spring 2018.


We know and understand there are a lot of questions about the project. A website has been designed specifically for the effluent treatment facility replacement project.  Dillon is maintaining this website throughout the duration of the environmental assessment to ensure transparency and provide access to information about the project as it comes available. The information will consistently be updated throughout the project as it evolves.


We encourage you to visit the below link and review the project details and submit any questions or comments that you may have throughout the process.Please follow the link to the project website for the Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Effluent Treatment Facility Environmental Assessment.


There is a monitor set up in the Town of Pictou that is owned and operated by the Nova Scotia Environment to test the ambient air. This means the outdoor air.  Ambient air quality reflects the releases of impurities from both human activity and natural sources, as well as the effects of factors such as temperature, sunlight, air pressure, humidity, wind, rain, and landscape.

Contaminants are often measured in extremely small concentrations, in “parts per million” (ppm) – think of one drop in a bathtub – or even in “parts per billion” (ppb).  Not surprisingly, the monitoring unit needs regular maintenance and calibration or adjustment to produce the accurate results needed. The units themselves are costly to purchase and maintain.

There is an accessible Link to the Nova Scotia Environment Ambient Air Quality Data website (  The Town of Pictou air station can be found in the Northern air zone.

Objectives for the measured parameters can be found in the following link to the Nova Scotia Air Quality Regulations (N.S. Reg. 28/2005).

Monitored Pollutants

  • Ozone

  • Fine Particulate Matter

  • Oxides of Nitrogen (NO2,      NO and NOx)

  • Sulphur Dioxide

  • Total Reduced Sulphur Compounds

  • Wind Direction


Ground-level Ozone

What is ozone?

O3 is a colourless, odourless gas at ambient concentrations and is a major component of smog.

What are the sources of ozone?

Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the atmosphere.  It results from photochemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.  Most of Nova Scotia’s ozone is carried here by air masses originating in the United States and central Canada.

Fine Particulate Matter

What is fine particulate matter?

Particulate matter is characterized according to size – mainly because of the different health effects associated with particles of different diameters. Fine particulate matter are tiny (invisible) airborne specks of solid or liquid material (e.g., dust & soot). It is generated by natural sources (e.g. wind-blown dust and forest fires), and through fuel burning (especially fossil fuels and wood). Fine particulate matter is particulate matter that is 2.5 microns in diameter and less. It is also known as PM2.5 or respirable particles because it penetrates the respiratory system further than larger particles.

What are the sources of fine particulate matter?

PM2.5 material is emitted directly to air from cars, trucks, home firewood-burning, industry, forest fires, wind-blown dust and waste burning. Significant amounts of PM2.5are carried into Nova Scotia from the U.S.

Oxides of Nitrogen (NO2, NO and NOx)

What are Oxides of Nitrogen (NO2, NO and NOx)?

Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are the total of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). During high temperature combustion, as in the burning of natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline, atmospheric nitrogen may combine with molecular oxygen to form NO. NO is colourless and odourless. Most NO in the ambient air will react with O3 to form NO2. NO2 is a reddish-brown gas with a pungent odour and is partially responsible for the brown haze observed near large cities.

What are the sources?

All combustion in air produces oxides of nitrogen (NOx), of which NO2 is a major product. NOx is generated through combustion, especially motor vehicle exhaust and fossil fuel burning electrical power generation. Smaller sources of NOx include natural gas combustion, heating fuel combustion, and forest fires.

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

What is sulphur dioxide?

SO2 is a colourless gas. It smells like burnt matches. It can be oxidized to sulphur trioxide, which in the presence of water vapour is readily transformed to sulphuric acid mist. High concentrations of SO2 can damage plants, and corrode metals. It can irritate the eyes, throat, and lungs. It also contributes to acid rain, which impacts sensitive lakes and rivers.

What are the sources of SO2?

It is formed from the sulphur contained in raw materials such as coal, oil and metal-containing ores during combustion and refining processes.

Total Reduced Sulphur Compounds (TRS)

What are total reduced sulphur compounds?

TRS compounds produce offensive odours similar to rotten eggs or cabbage.

What are the sources of TRS?

Industrial sources of TRS include the steel industry, pulp and paper mills, refineries and sewage treatment facilities. Natural sources include swamps, bogs and marshes.

Wind Direction

What is it?

Wind direction indicates the direction from which the wind is originating. It uses a 360° (compass) scale wherein 0° (or 360°) indicates a north to south wind direction, 90° indicates east to west, etc.). Wind direction is a meteorological (weather) parameter that allows us to better understand the behavior and impacts of air pollutants.

What does it do?

Collecting wind direction information allows us to infer the sources of pollutants associated with the ambient levels that are detected using other monitors. This can be helpful when trying to discern between impacts from industrial sources versus natural pollution sources, or to identify one source of impacts from several candidates.

Northern Pulp Ambient Air Stations

Northern Pulp operates two ambient air station located in Greenhill and Pictou Landing.  These two stations measure Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) . The TSP monitoring is conducted according to the Environment Canada National Air Pollutant Survey (NAPS) schedule with samples collected once every six days.   The NPNS TSP data for 2017 year-to-date is shown graphically below:

Total Suspended Particulates (TSP)

What are Total Suspended Particulates (TSP)?

Tiny particles of solid material or liquid aerosols, defined collectively as particulates, are present in the air, and at high concentrations, may become an air pollution concern. TSP range in size from 0.001 to 500 micrometres (for reference, a human hair is about 70 micrometres in diameter) and, depending on their size and other properties, may remain suspended in the air for a few seconds or indefinitely.

Suspended particles may result from a variety of natural and human sources. These sources include vehicle exhaust emissions, industrial emission sources, soil, road dust, dust resulting from other human activities (i.e. agriculture), smoke from forest fires and smoke from recreational sources (e.g. campfires and fireplaces).

Monitoring Method

TSP are measured by the high volume sampler. The sampler consists of a vacuum system and filter housed in a shelter and operates on the same principle as a vacuum cleaner. The particulate matter in the atmosphere is collected by drawing a known volume of air through a pre-weighed filter for a 24-hour period every sixth day according to the NAPS monitoring schedule. The filter is then re-weighed to determine the mass of the particles collected.


Objectives for TSP are:

  • 120 µg/m3 as a 24-hour total loading; and

  • 70 µg/m3 as an annual geometric mean loading.

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Richmond, British Columbia
V7B 1C3

Phone: 604.247.4400

Fax: 604.247.0512



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