Case Study

Domtar: The Paper Trail Website

Logo_0013_Domtar Paper Trail


How does a company measure itself? Typically, it’s financially. It is rare for any company to shine a light on their sustainability practices and efforts and invite the audience to be part of that experience, but Domtar Paper was looking to do just that. More than just an environmental calculator, the Domtar Paper Trail is a website that assesses the company’s impact socially, economically and environmentally. To put things into a real world context would mean assessing what effect the paper order an individual or company placed had environmentally.



Equal parts a design and development challenge, this project inspired a healthy spirit of collaboration. First, the development team had to write complex algorithms that would translate all of the data of a paper order into relevant real world equivalencies. The design and development teams worked together to design an intuitive user interface that used the Google maps API to highlight the various mill locations along with a detailed grid of information breaking down factors of fiber, GHG emissions, water, renewable energy and waste. The experience of the site feels akin to modern apps with its sleek transitions and Javascript animations. Accomplishing all of these goals and making them work seamlessly across all modern devices and platforms required planning out all of the responsive breakpoints meticulously. To do this, the development team utilized the Twitter Bootstrap framework which is responsive right out-of-the-box, platform agnostic and provides a rapid development environment. The site was also developed using Wordpress to make it user friendly to maintain and update. The front-end design pays homage to a vintage National Park aesthetic, but updates that look to a modern context. Social sharing features and the ability to compile an environmental impact report makes the site a valuable tool in disclosing your environmental footprint.



The Paper Trail has become an effective tool for the Domtar salesforce in helping them to clearly delineate the company’s sustainability efforts. Furthermore, the website has established Domtar as a leader in corporate responsibility within the paper industry and created a benchmark for other paper companies to aspire to. For Squires, it shows we can design an experiential site that can take a complex system of factors and deliver them in a intuitive user experience.