Resolute Forest Products is one of the largest forest products companies in North America, supplying customers in nearly 90 countries with pulp and paper materials to make products we all use – products like newspapers, magazines, books, printing and writing papers, tissues and building materials.
The Company has a long heritage in the forestry industry and is the outcome of many mergers and acquisitions – one of the earliest parent companies was established in 1816. Having operated in the boreal forest for generations, we understand the importance of preserving and renewing the natural resources in our care, and balancing environmental, social and economic sustainability.
We’re Based in Canada & the U.S. and We Supply the World
- We employ nearly 8,500 people.
- In Ontario, we manage 4.3 million hectares (10.7 million acres) of timberland in the boreal forest. In Quebec, the total area in the boreal forest for which we hold (as the main holder or as co-holder) sustainable forest management certification is 11.7 million hectares (29 million acres).
- We own or operate over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, as well as hydroelectric and co-generation facilities in Canada.
- Our products include newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products.
We Know Sustainable Development is Key to Business Growth
Sustainability is at the heart of the way we do business. Our customers are increasingly looking to improve their own sustainability performance, and we understand it’s important for them to know their suppliers share their values.
- Our industry is the economic backbone of many communities, and we have a responsibility to ensure that we make business decisions with the long-term health of those communities in mind.
- We’re committed to strengthening our partnerships with First Nations, our communities, our customers, and our employees.
- We’ve made significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, having committed to reduce our scope one and scope two emissions by 65 percent by 2015 (2000 base year).
- We’ve introduced a line of papers that is made using 50 percent less wood fibre, less energy and fewer chemicals.
- We offer a line of papers that is made from recycled paper, and we own and operate two 100 percent recycled pulp mills in the United States, one 100 percent recycled newsprint mill in Ontario and one 100 percent recycled newsprint mill in South Korea.
- Around 70 percent of our energy requirements come from renewable sources.
Transparency and Partnership
- Transparency around our sustainability performance is critical, so we publish a detailed, annual sustainability report that follows the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, a standard praised by the United Nations Global Compact. Our latest report can be found at www.resolutefp.com/sustainability.
- Our Company and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Signatories to this unique agreement work to identify solutions to conservation issues in the boreal forest that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.
We’re proud of the progress we’ve made, and we’re just getting started – we know there is always room to do better.
The boreal forest is one of the great wonders of the natural world. It spans much of the Northern Hemisphere, from North America and Asia to parts of Europe, and is considered public land. The forest is home to unique plants, animals and human cultures that have coexisted for thousands of years. Those of us who live and work in Canada’s boreal region consider it a critical part of our culture, economy and collective future.
The Boreal’s Ecology
- Canada’s boreal region covers almost 60 percent of the country’s land area, essentially spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific. At 2,000,000 mi², (over 5,740,000 km²), it is one of the largest and most complex ecosystems on the planet.
- The boreal is fantastically diverse and complex. An ecosystem of lakes and wetlands moderates the climate, produces oxygen and purifies the water supply for its inhabitants. Much of the world’s freshwater is in the boreal’s lakes, rivers and streams. More than 208 billion tons of carbon are stored in the boreal’s trees, soils, water and peat, meaning that the forest has a significant impact on the planet’s ability to regulate the levels of carbon in the atmosphere.
- The boreal is home to a rich variety of tree species including Balsam Fir, White Birch, Poplar, Black and White Spruce, Jack Pine, Red Pine and Eastern White Cedar.
- The region is home to more than just millions of acres of trees and wetlands — thousands of species of animals, birds, plants and insects thrive in its habitat.
- Millions of land birds call the boreal region home, either permanently or as seasonal migrants. Among other species, the boreal is home to owls, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, vultures, hawks, kingfishers and songbirds.
- Large mammal species in the Canadian boreal include caribou, deer, moose, wolves, and black bears.
- Countless smaller mammals also call the boreal home, including foxes, lynx, raccoons, porcupines, hares, beavers, ermines, muskrats, pine marten, squirrels and bats.
- Then there are the boreal’s insects, which include beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers, bees, ants and—if you’ve had the chance to see them in person – spectacular butterflies.
Sustaining Whole Communities: Economic Impact of the Boreal
- The forest products industry has been an important part of the Canadian economy for generations, and First Nations communities have relied on the boreal for millennia.
- The forest products industry has a unique responsibility to understand and protect the forest and to study the best ways to ensure its viability as a source for natural, economic and social development.
- The forest products industry has an outsized impact on the livelihoods and wellbeing of many Canadian communities. It contributed $24 billion dollars to the Canadian GDP in 2012 and provides livelihoods for 600,000 people in Canada.
- Like many developed countries, Canada has struggled to retain the manufacturing jobs that pay strong salaries and good benefits. The forest products industry has seen difficult times in recent years, but still accounts for 12 percent of the entire Canadian manufacturing GDP.
- Our industry pays wages that are, on average, 16 percent above the national average, which helps sustain the economic health of hundreds of villages, towns and cities.
- Lastly, the products we produce are an important link between the United States and Canada, as the U.S. is by far the largest importer of Canadian forest products – used to produce products like newspapers, magazines, books, printing and writing papers, tissues and building materials.
Conservation of the Boreal
- The sheer size of Canada’s boreal forest makes protecting the forest particularly important to Canada. Given its priceless ecological diversity and importance to Canadian communities, the boreal is closely protected by the Canadian government, its inhabitants, and companies like ours that depend on a healthy and prosperous forest.
- Every year, 5-6 million hectares of Canada’s boreal forests are disturbed by fire, insects and disease – or about 1 percent of the total acreage. That’s five times the area affected by commercial harvesting, which is 0.2 percent of total acreage.
- Membership in Canada’s primary forest products industry association, the Forest Products Association of Canada, requires third-party certification of environmental practices to ensure that all members respect the principles of responsible forestry.
- The forest products industry operates in a small portion of the forest — much of the boreal is out of bounds for the forest products industry and even more land has been actively set aside by the government and industry to establish protected spaces, parks and conservation efforts.
- In an effort to protect the boreal, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) was created by 21 forest companies and nine environmental organizations in 2010, making it the world’s largest conservation agreement and the largest conservation agreement in history.
- The agreement brought environmental groups and forest product companies together in the spirit of understanding and cooperation. Resolute stands by the CBFA and urges a return to its principles and vision.
The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) is the largest partnership of its kind in the world, bringing together 21 forest products companies and nine environmental groups to achieve the joint goal of ensuring the sustainability of the Canadian boreal forest for generations to come. Resolute Forest Products is a founding member. The signatories of the CBFA have committed to:
- Expand the network of protected areas in the boreal forest of Canada
- Develop recovery plans for boreal forest species at risk, particularly woodland caribou
- Take action on climate change
- Improve the prosperity of the communities that rely on the industry
- Openly share the environmental performance of the forest products companies in the CBFA
Early Successes in Sustainable Forest Management
Resolute committed to the agreement, spending thousands of hours in staff time to see through the following objectives:
- Determining where and how we will establish protected spaces in the boreal forest, and how we will protect caribou. To that end, Resolute made a proposal to increase the protected land in North Central Quebec to 12 percent, equivalent to 2,670 square miles (1,710,000 acres), with the main focus on protecting the best habitat for woodland caribou
- Matching funds raised by participating environmental, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to conduct research into endangered species management
Embracing the spirit of the agreement, proposals were also made for Ontario:
- Along with the Ontario Regional Working Group, Resolute proposed 3,225 square miles (2,063,000 acres) of caribou conservation area in Northeastern Ontario
- Resolute proposed an additional 785 square miles (504,000 acres) of forest in Northwestern Ontario for conservation, providing additional protection of caribou and other species
We Stand By Our Commitments
We believe that this is the time to create a more inclusive framework for protecting the boreal forest and the communities that rely on it. Specifically, it makes sense to bring into the CBFA First Nations, governments and the elected representatives of boreal communities—groups whose lives are directly affected by its outcomes. By including these communities and returning to the spirit of compromise and understanding on which the CBFA was founded, we are confident that the future of the boreal forest will be assured for generations.
Resolute Forest Products has operated in the Canadian boreal forest for generations: our earliest parent company was founded here in 1816. It is our home, as well as the home of those who came before us. And we consider it both a privilege and a responsibility to be here for generations to come.
This responsibility defines who we are and how we operate as a company, and as individuals, including in the boreal forest. For the health of our business, and in fulfillment of our values, we must carry out our work in a way that respects the environment and wildlife of the boreal forest, its economic survival and the traditional, social and cultural values of the people who call it home. We cannot – we must not – sacrifice one at the expense of another.
Forest Conservation in Action
Indeed, our business depends on the sustainability of the forests from which our products are sourced. 100 percent of the woodlands that Resolute manages are independently certified to one or more of three internationally-recognized sustainable forest management standards.
Because we take sustainable forest management so seriously, in 2010, we helped found the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA). The CBFA, the largest conservation effort of its kind, anywhere in the world, was created to provide a framework for disparate groups – businesses and NGOs – to work together to conserve the boreal forest, while also protecting the prosperity of forest products companies and the people and communities that depend on the boreal forest for their livelihoods.
More Must Be Done
We believed, and still believe, that this is a worthwhile goal. But if we are to achieve it, the CBFA must be expanded to include those who would feel the impact of its outcomes most: the First Nations communities and other 2.5 million Canadians who call the boreal forest home, as well as the governments, who owns the land.
Thank you for your interest in protecting the boreal forest. We invite you to use this site to learn more about the forest and ways to conserve it as well as the livelihoods of those who depend upon it. We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have.
In the last 50 years, people have learned more about forests than ever before. We now know, for example, how important it is to maintain a healthy ecosystem and biodiversity. We also recognize what an important part forest products play in our lives today. This knowledge forms the foundation on which forest stewardship rests.
What does forest stewardship mean?
Forest stewardship means taking responsibility for our role in forest management. Resolute Forest Products’ approach to stewardship relies on “sustainable forest management”. It includes a number of important elements. Foresters are professionals who have the necessary knowledge and tools to implement these elements.
Detailed plans are developed in collaboration with First Nations, stakeholders and the government who owns the land. These plans describe the forest and the locations where harvesting is proposed. Although over 40% of the boreal forest in Quebec and Ontario is already off limits to the forest products industry, we limit our activities to the portions of what we call the “managed forest” to areas that respect very strict conditions. In this way, we minimize our impact on the environment and the forest’s natural evolution. By taking into account these protections and restrictions as well as the natural constraints involved in harvesting, only about a third of the continuous boreal forest is actually open to harvesting.
Choosing sites with care
Foresters consult with First Nations and local communities as the first step in coordinating use of any territory. They use detailed maps, aerial photography and satellite images, exhaustive studies of fauna, and data gathered over decades to select the right areas where harvesting and other management activities can be carried out. This planning and all of our operations are carried out in accordance with the criteria and indicators of Sustainable Forest Management in Canada, to ensure that:
1. Biological diversity is maintained;
2. The conditions and productivity levels of ecosystems are maintained;
3. The soil and water are protected;
4. Contribution to global ecological cycles is maintained;
5. Long term social and economic benefits are maintained or improved;
6. Society’s responsibility is met.
When an area is selected for harvesting, a thorough analysis of local conditions is carried out to ensure that our activities result in minimal disturbance.
The number of trees harvested each year is limited to the forest’s capacity to produce new wood each year is regularly reviewed in order to account for new knowledge or decisions that have been made about the area, such as the establishment of protected areas. In other words, the volume harvested each year can be considered the ‘interest’ on the total forest ‘capital’ available for harvest.
All of the forest lands under Resolute’s stewardship are certified to at least one of the three internationally recognized standards for sustainable forest management.
Inspired by nature
Is forest sustainability measured by the number of trees planted? Certainly not in the boreal forest! While the idea of planting trees provides a reassuring image, natural regeneration is recognized as the most ecologically sound approach to sustainable forest management in the boreal. We believe it should be prioritized wherever possible.
The boreal forest is a vast and unique ecosystem, and its renewal is mostly driven by natural disturbances like wildfires, windstorms, and insect infestations. Fortunately, most boreal species are well adapted to these disturbances. This is called “resilience”. For example, jack pine and black spruce produce cones that resist very high temperatures like those reached during a forest fire. In the days and weeks following a fire, the cones slowly open up and release their seeds, which sprout quickly on the mineral soil exposed after the burning of the humus (organic matter on the forest floor).
Balsam fir and black spruce also grow well under a mature canopy. The young trees can also benefit from a sudden opening of the canopy resulting from insect outbreaks or windstorms. Black spruce, by far the dominant species in the boreal forest, has two different but very effective regeneration mechanisms: there’s the sexual form (through seed germination), and the vegetative form through “layering” (low-hanging branches touching the ground in a thick layer of moss and, over time, developing their own system of roots).
Professional foresters have taken advantage of these natural regeneration processes for decades. In fact, our experience shows that by emulating natural disturbances through harvesting techniques, natural regeneration benefits about 75% of the areas harvested annually. Planting becomes necessary only for the remaining 25%, where natural regeneration was insufficient or not present under the mature canopy (for example, jack pine specifically needs fire to regenerate).
Techniques known as “careful logging” or “cuts with protection of regeneration and soil” (CPRS) were developed and improved starting in the late 1980s to maximize natural regeneration already present at the time of harvesting. These techniques are so effective that we sometimes need to “space” the growing trees after 10 to 15 years of growth.
From a biodiversity perspective, seedlings that establish themselves naturally are best adapted to the environment and soil of a particular area. Natural regeneration means site-specific genes are perpetuated in the next generation of trees – for example, black spruce “layers” are referred to as “natural clones” of the harvested trees!
Planting remains an important tool in sustainable forest management, even in the boreal forest. Planting is not only necessary where natural regeneration needs helps; it also improves forest yield, which means more land elsewhere can be set aside for conservation.
Reforestation begins each year at the end of May and runs through to early September. Teams of between 12 and 60 people take to the forest, with each planter planting around 2,000 trees a day. In 2012, Resolute planted 60 million trees in Quebec and Ontario, and also celebrated the planting of our billionth tree in Ontario!
Natural regeneration saved during logging operation in Quebec Lac St-Jean region
Abundance of natural regeneration will often result in the necessity to perform a “spacing” operation at age 10 to 15.
Returning regularly to ensure regeneration
Over several years following a harvest, we return regularly to the area to ensure that regeneration is progressing well, and to perform corrective measures if needed.
While many companies are looking to shrink their carbon footprints, Resolute believes that it has a special obligation to do so because we live and work among the very forests that help to manage the world’s climate. To that end, we’ve set an ambitious target to reduce our scope one and scope two greenhouse gas emissions, and we continuously seek ways to improve our energy efficiency.
We’ve Cut CO2 Emissions Dramatically
- As part of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers program, Resolute has committed to reducing its scope one and scope two greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2015 (base year 2000). This is an industry-leading target and is the equivalent of taking 1.45 million cars off the road. We are delighted to share that we expect to achieve this goal ahead of schedule.
- About 70 percent of our energy requirements come from renewable sources. While hydroelectricity is the primary source, eight of our sites operate cogeneration facilities producing “green energy” from carbon-neutral biomass.
- We use alternative fuels like methane from landfills, used oil, and tire-derived fuel in an effort to avoid waste.
- Our AlignTM product line has a carbon footprint that is 35-86 percent lower than the average competitive paper.
More CO2 Cuts Planned
- Industry-wide, we’re looking at ways to better utilize organic waste products. Between 2007 and 2009, industry usage of biomass material grew from 58 percent to 68 percent of energy used. This means our reliance on the fossil fuels that contribute to climate change has declined substantially, while our ability to reuse waste material has increased.
- On August 22, 2013, Gaz Métro, Resolute Forest Products and the town of Saint-Félicien announced a new natural gas line that will enable Resolute`s Kraft pulp mill in Saint-Félicien to replace heavy oil with a cleaner form of energy. The total investment regarding this project is 17 million dollars. By switching to natural gas, our Saint-Felicien Kraft mill will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tons every year, the equivalent of emissions produced by 5,000 automobiles. The new line will be 22 kilometers long, and the construction process will be completed by December 2013.
- Resolute recently announced the construction of a wood pellet plant that will convert left-over wood fibers — an underutilized bi-product of our work — into a reliable source of renewable energy. This will be the largest power plant in North America fueled entirely by biomass and will contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The boreal forest has fed, clothed and housed humans for thousands of years. Today, it continues to be a source for people’s livelihood through direct employment – in harvesting and regenerating forests, and in manufacturing operations – and indirect employment; the grocery stores, schools, hospitals and thousands of other businesses and organizations that depend upon boreal communities.
Boreal Forest Economic Facts
- More than 233,800 Canadians are directly employed in forestry jobs, and more than 600,000 Canadians rely on the industry for their livelihoods.
- The forestry sector’s contribution to Canada’s GDP was $24 billion dollars CDN in 2012, or nearly 2 percent of the entire Canadian GDP (and 12 percent of Canada’s manufacturing GDP).
- Over 800 First Nations communities are located in Canada’s boreal region, and an estimated 17,000 First Nations people in Canada make their living in the forest products industry.
- The average wage of a forest products industry employee is $52,673, or 16 percent above the national Canadian average. The Canadian forest products industry pays roughly $9 billion in wages annually.
- The industry is a vital contributor to trade between Canada and the United States — the U.S. alone counts for 65 percent of Canada’s wood and paper product exports for use in a range of products, from printing paper to building materials to packaging to labels and advertising.
Preserving these communities and their way of life is a major reason why the industry has invested so heavily in science-based conservation of forests to ensure environmental, social and economic sustainability.
The forest products industry has dramatically improved its sustainability and forest conservation performance in the past few decades, from reducing its carbon footprint to putting sustainable forest management practices in place. Resolute Forest Products adheres to some of the most rigorous fiber sourcing standards in the world, and our customers can rest easy knowing that the products they use come from responsibly managed forests.
Sustainable Forestry Measures
- 100 percent of the woodlands we manage have been certified to one or more internationally-recognized sustainable forest management standards.
- All of our mills in Canada and the U.S. have fiber-tracking systems in place that allow us to identify the source of the fiber or wood used. Most of these tracking systems are third-party certified according to one or more of these internationally recognized chain of custody standards: Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
- We prepare or contribute to the development of 20- or 25-year forest management plans that are revised every five years. Public participation is a critical part of the process, and we encourage First Nations and local communities to participate in the planning process.
- Regeneration is an essential part of sustainable forest management. As a responsible forest manager, Resolute seeks to respect the natural growth cycle of trees while ensuring biodiversity. In Canada, fiber used in our products is sourced primarily from public land, located mainly in the boreal forest. By law, these woodlands must be promptly regenerated.
Boreal Forest Sustainability Goals
The sustainable forest management systems we use include provisions such as:
- Respect for the rights of First Nations peoples
- Development of comprehensive forest management plans
- Regulation of harvest rates
- Prompt and successful regeneration
- Protection for biodiversity
- Limits on activities near bodies of water in order to preserve water quality
- Regular, science-based monitoring and assessment to ensure standards are met
How We Comply with Regulations
- All of our operations are preceded by extensive planning and surveying — every single time. This careful planning is necessary for dealing with varying forest characteristics, adhering to regulations, and meeting the expectations of numerous stakeholders, as well as for maintaining our certifications. This planning ensures the long-term viability of forests.
- Our foresters are experts in sustainable forest management and are deeply knowledgeable about the many detailed criteria involved in certification.
- A “chain of custody” tracking system allows us to keep track of all the fiber that enters our facilities, whether it is sourced internally or externally. This allows us to confirm to our customers that our entire fiber supply meets rigorous standards.
- Our sustainable forest management practices are verified by independent parties on a regular basis. Their guidance helps our Company further improve how we manage forests and monitor our fiber supply.
Resolute Forest Products recognizes and respects the cultural and social significance of the land, water and forests of Canada to its First Nations peoples. We also understand these resources are critical to their prosperity and economic sustainability. We share a common interest in ensuring that the forests we rely on continue to provide for the environmental, social, cultural and economic needs of future generations. Through decades of working alongside these partners, we know that conversations about the future of the boreal forest must include the voices of the First Nations people. That’s why we have called for their active participation in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. (Learn more about CBFA here).
Instrumental in Sustainable Forest Management
Given our belief that public consultation is an essential step in the sustainable forestry process, we make sure we engage our First Nations partners in reviewing our harvesting plans to ensure we’ve taken into account all local environmental, social, cultural, traditional and economic considerations. Resolute enjoys strong partnerships with many such communities:
- THUNDER BAY, ON: On May 14, 2013, Resolute celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Thunder Bay sawmill; a unique business partnership between Resolute and the Fort William First Nation. The mill employs over 170 people. In 2012, the Thunder Bay sawmill also became the first facility in Canada to operate under regulations created by the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act. This legislation enables Federal Reserve land to operate under Provincial statutes, thereby facilitating industrial development with First Nations on their land. The project’s ongoing success is the result of the collective efforts over the past 10 years of the Company and the Fort William First Nation, the sawmill employees, the City of Thunder Bay, the governments of Ontario and Canada, and the many contractors and suppliers that service the facility.
- ATIKOKAN, ON: Our new $50 million sawmill project at Atikokan will create around 90 jobs, with additional jobs in construction and hauling lumber and residual wood chips. The company recently signed a memorandum of agreement with First Nations in the Atikokan area, which is expected to generate significant economic opportunity for Aboriginal communities in the region.
- WABIGOON LAKE, ON: Resolute assisted the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation in establishing a tree nursery in their community. The Company also purchases more than 1.5 million trees annually from this venture to support regeneration activities.
- IROQUOIS FALLS, ON: Three Nations Logging, a forestry contracting company owned by Moose Band Development Corporation (Moose Cree First Nation), carries out all direct harvesting work on behalf of Resolute on the company’s Iroquois Falls licence areas.
- Resolute also has a number of partnerships with other First Nations groups in Ontario related to employment and contracting opportunities, wood purchase, harvest planning, road construction, maintenance reforestation, and sharing of expertise in sustainable forest management certification.
- OBEDJIWAN, QC: This joint venture operation with the Atikamekw Council of Obedjiwan has been in place since 1998. The Council owns 55% of the Opitciwan sawmill, while Resolute owns 45%. The sawmill is located on reserve land and currently employs around 80 members of the community of Obedjiwan. Those employed by the venture act as role models for the youth in this northern community. Resolute has contributed to the maintenance of road access to the community, supported infrastructure, and assisted in the implementation of the sawmill forestry service, and entered into wood purchase agreements with the community. In September 2013, the Opitciwan sawmill was awarded the prestigious Aboriginal Business Leadership Award by the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
- MANIWAKI, QC: Resolute has had a partnership with the community of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg for the last ten years, in which Resolute has carried out forest management and harvesting activities in exchange for a stumpage fee for volumes allocated to Kitigan Zibi by the Quebec government.
- Resolute has a number of partnerships with other First Nations groups in Quebec related to employment and contracting opportunities, wood purchase, harvest planning, facilitation of negotiations, Innu language translation, mapping of cultural landmarks, development of an adapted forestry practice code, and sharing of expertise in sustainable forest management certification.
These Partnerships Matter
Through mutually beneficial employment and business development opportunities, Resolute can support economic and social empowerment of our partner communities.
- There are 800 First Nations communities in the boreal forest region of Canada. In some of our operating communities, they make up a large portion of the population. Strong relations are a must for any company with operations in the region.
- Approximately 17,000 First Nations people work in Canada’s forest products sector. Ensuring that we understand the needs of their communities is good for forest products companies as a whole because all of these people are valued as colleagues and team members.
Related article: Northwestern Ontario First Nations see $100 million in new aboriginal business
In 1987, the United Nations put “sustainability” at the top of the world’s agenda, defining it as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Few industries have heeded this call more strongly than the forest products industry. And Resolute Forest Products has gone beyond this to make it a central consideration in how we do business.
“My grandparents taught me to revere nature. I have spent my professional life dedicated to that charge. It’s every employee’s duty to leave the forests in better condition than they were found.”
–Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Resolute Forest Products
Defining Sustainability: Three Pillars
Since the UN report was released, sustainability has evolved to mean the balancing of three needs: environmental, social and economic. This is the view we have embraced. In fact, we have incorporated it as a central element of Resolute’s vision and values, and the way in which we approach our business every day.
1. The Business Motivation
- As consumers have grown more concerned about protecting our environment, they have raised their expectations of the companies they buy forest products from. In response to these market trends, Resolute has achieved 100 percent independent, third-party sustainable forest management certification in areas where it holds responsibilities for forest management. The Company has also launched the Align™ brand of paper grades that uses 50 percent less wood fiber than competitive papers and less energy in their production. Formal life cycle assessments have demonstrated the range of environmental benefits of these grades of paper.
- Reducing the amount of energy and water consumed in the manufacturing of paper products saves Resolute tens of millions of dollars each year, savings which allow the Company to offer steady employment, support research and development, and to play an active role in the communities in which our employees work and live. What benefits the environment and what’s good for business are not mutually exclusive. In fact, quite the contrary. We’ve demonstrated time and time again that environmental, social and economic considerations go hand in hand.
2. The Environmental Imperative
- The environment depends on strong, healthy forests in many ways: forests play a central role in cleaning the air we breathe and filtering the water we drink; giving sanctuary and habitat for wildlife and flora; creating opportunities for recreation, having incalculable traditional, social and cultural value for First Nation peoples, as well as providing the most ecological building material and fiber for producing a multitude of products that all of us use every day.
3. The Social Reality
- Many of our operations are located in boreal towns that rely on the forest for economic sustenance and view them as the roots of their communities. The boreal forest is the backyard for many communities, and it is a vital legacy to be passed on to future generations. Resolute recognizes its obligation to safeguard the long-term sustainability of the boreal.
- First Nations, Canada’s aboriginal peoples, have depended on the boreal for centuries, and consider its survival as being integral to their traditional, social, cultural and economic survival.
Resolute’s Sustainability in Action
Resolute has worked hard to take a leadership role in the forest products industry around sustainability. Here is a look at the progress we’ve made so far, and some thoughts on what lies ahead for us:
- Resolute is a co-founder and a strong supporter of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, the largest partnership of its kind in the world, bringing together 21 forest products companies and nine environmental groups to achieve the joint goal of ensuring the sustainability of the Canadian boreal forest for generations to come.
- 100 percent of the woodlands managed by Resolute are certified to at least one of three internationally-recognized standards for sustainable forest management in North America.
- Resolute is working hard to achieve our goal of having 80 percent of our forests certified through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) by 2015.
- As a company, Resolute has made a commitment through the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Saver’s program to achieving a 65 percent absolute reduction in our scope one and scope two greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 over a 2000 base year. We are currently are on track to meet that goal ahead of schedule.
- We are also working hard to improve our understanding of the Company’s water footprint and voluntarily report on our water use performance through the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Water Disclosure program.
- Resolute has introduced a new product line called AlignTM, which uses 50 percent less wood fiber and thus requires significantly fewer trees to produce than competitive papers. Our Align™ uncoated papers have a carbon footprint 35-86 percent smaller than competitive papers, depending on the grade.
- Around 70 percent of Resolute’s energy requirements come from renewable sources. While hydro-electricity is our primary source of energy, eight Company sites operate cogeneration facilities that produce “green energy” from carbon-neutral biomass. Where possible, we also use alternative fuels, primarily used tires, waste plastics and landfill gas.
- Resolute has created multiple communication channels to encourage discussion and information sharing with the people and communities who depend on us to be responsible. We have established stakeholder committees at all of our operations to engage and foster dialogue with First Nations, local communities, elected officials and other partners.
- Recognizing the competitive edge that sustainability delivers, we are pleased to publish an annual Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) report that lays out our annual sustainability goals, charts progress towards achieving them, and clearly explains which areas need to be improved. The GRI framework is recognized as being the world’s most thorough and advanced sustainability reporting guidelines. For more information, see www.resolutefp.com/Sustainability.
Resolute Forest Products is committed to achieving our commitments on sustainable forestry, greenhouse gas reduction and engagement with communities, (First Nations and stakeholders). Our commitment to the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic – is strong and will continue to frame our actions and planning in the future.