Boreal Forest

Most of the virgin fiber consumed by our operations in Canada is sourced from Resolute Forest Products’ managed forests, which grow primarily on publicly owned land under provincial licenses in Canada's boreal forest. General information on fiber sourcing, including the purchased fiber processed in our U.S. operations and recovered fiber used to make 100% recycled newsprint and pulp, is available on the Forestry and Fiber Sourcing page.

The boreal forest is a diverse ecological system that includes forests, wetlands, grasslands, tundra and rivers. Our practices are governed by stringent government environmental standards and regulations designed to promote healthy, sustainable forests – balancing environmental, social and economic values.

For decades, Resolute has worked with governments, communities, Aboriginal peoples and other stakeholders to protect wildlife habitats, breeding grounds and unique or culturally important ecosystems in the boreal forest.

Facts about the Boreal Forest

boreal forest 

  • The world's largest land-based ecosystem, the boreal forest circles the upper part of the northern hemisphere and covers 31% of Canada.
  • The boreal forest is primarily an evergreen forest (spruce, pine, fir).
  • 28% of the world's boreal forest is located in Canada.
  • Canada retains about 90% of its original forest cover. Of the 10% that is gone, most has been lost to agriculture and urbanization – not forestry practices.

For more information, visit the Natural Resources Canada website or borealforestfacts.com, a site offering a wealth of information about the boreal forest, the forest products industry, and the future of this renewable resource upon which so many of us depend.

Sustainability in the Boreal Forest

Operating in a highly regulated environment with active enforcement by federal, provincial and local government partners, Resolute benefits from numerous conservation activities, sound protected-area development, and collaborative forest management strategies.

In Ontario and Quebec where Resolute has tenures, biodiversity monitoring is usually carried out by the provincial agencies responsible for wildlife policies and wildlife management. Even in high conservation value forests, harvesting is not prohibited as long as effective strategies are in place to protect the high-value attributes that have been identified. These strategies may include defining protected areas, deferring forest management activities on selected large tracts, and developing road management strategies, as well as natural and planted forest regeneration. The two independent certification standards (Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®)), to at least one of which our forests are certified, require the consideration of the latest scientific evidence on species conservation and management.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment, the Canadian boreal forest is not in any way an “endangered forest.” The 2014 State of Canada’s Forests Report explains that less than 0.5% (half of one percent) of Canada’s boreal forest is harvested each year – more than five times less than what is disturbed annually by natural causes such as forest fires, insects and disease. Canada’s annual deforestation rate, the permanent removal of forest cover from an area, is less than 0.02% and is the result of industrial activities other than forestry (such as hydroelectricity), urban development, transportation and recreation.

Forest Regeneration

The regeneration of harvested areas is an essential component of sustainable forest management. As a responsible forest manager, Resolute seeks to respect the natural growth cycle of trees, while protecting 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. The boreal forest has a remarkable ability to regenerate on its own. In fact, approximately 75% of the area harvested grows back naturally. Our foresters ensure that the rest is promptly reforested via seeding or planting of seedlings. In 2012, Resolute planted our one billionth tree, and in 2015, we participated in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s world-record attempt to plant the most trees in one hour.