Red Leaf’s Innovations Contribute to a Sustainable and Truly Circular Economy

The circular in circular economy refers to a closed system where materials that used to be considered waste are diverted and used for value creation.
Red Leaf produces Canada’s first climate-positive alternative fibre, made from residual wheat straw which typically is destroyed/pulverized. Red Leaf’s proprietary production processes have several environmental advantages – significantly reduced water, chemical and energy use, and diversion of residuals into renewable energy and biomaterials.
Our process generates sustainable fibre and valuable byproducts that can be used by our customers to produce:
Market Pulp: tissue and paper towel. Our customers also produce value-added products for food contact (cups, plates, cutlery, takeout containers), packaging, and paper products.
Bioenergy Pellets: These pellets will replace a portion of coal burned for electricity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions of the grid.
Lignin: A compressed organic material (nature’s glue) which binds every plant and tree. Red Leaf’s proprietary process extracts sulfur-free lignin powder which enables many circular economy product streams and research opportunities.

A Walk-Through of Red Leaf’s Circular Economy [Diagram]

Harnessing the power of the sun, the seeds in the soil develop into food, and we cultivate the residual straw with no change to land use or farming Best Practices.
Residual straw is collected as bales, using less carbon than other methods such as chopping, spreading, and harrowing. With some crops, this will also prevent burning of the residue.
Red Leaf’s Bioenergy pellets reduce the use of coal and generate low-carbon electricity on the grid.
Red Leaf’s primary product, alternative fibre, is then sent to customers to create more sustainable and compostable consumer products.
Ultra-Low Carbon Biocrude: In the future, Red Leaf will produce a renewable fuel with a lower carbon intensity than existing fossil fuels. This sulphur-free fuel can be processed into renewable diesel, gasoline, aviation fuels, etc., including the fuels used to power farm machinery.

Expanding on Environmental, Social, and Economic Benefits

Our production at Red Leaf does not require ANY changes in land use. We are enhancing the financial returns of producers (farmers) by removing residual straw from their existing crop rotations. Unlike competitive forms of fibre, commonly branded as “sustainable”, we are not diminishing boreal forests or tropical rainforest, nor reducing acres of farmland available to the food chain.

In addition to the environmental benefits, our operations have social and community-oriented benefits. Producers we partner with generate extra income through the sale of straw residue. They can employ their seasonal staff for longer by retaining them to bail this residue as a value-add prior to selling it to us. We also partner with local Indigenous groups, offering employment and business opportunities presently ranging from security to facility rentals.

Keep in touch!
Stay up to date with us by following our [News & Updates / LinkedIn Feed] as we continue to publish more articles, along with environmental reports and data sheets about our operations.

Review a magnified view of our Circular Economy diagram here.


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