As a global industry leader, Resolute Forest Products manufactures and markets a diverse range of products, including commercial printing papers, newsprint, market pulp and wood products. Resolute is fortunate that our primary input — wood — is a renewable resource, and that our paper products are recyclable. Yet this alone does not make our products sustainable.
To further improve our environmental performance, Resolute has implemented sustainable forestry practices and responsible fiber sourcing. We have also made significant investments in improving the environmental performance of our manufacturing processes, including the development of innovative products that maximize our use of fiber. In 2012, we launched a strategy to promote our Align™ brand of eco-efficient grades of paper, further supporting product stewardship by building awareness of these grades in the marketplace. Among other environmental benefits, our eco-efficient papers help our customers reduce their carbon footprint. We also are looking to expand our value-added wood products offering.
Resolute manufactures and markets a portfolio of superbrite commercial printing papers that use up to 50% less wood fiber than offset papers, such as uncoated freesheet (UFS), due to the use of a fiber-efficient thermomechanical pulping (TMP) process. Because mechanical papers deliver better opacity and bulk than UFS at equivalent basis weights, a lower basis weight can be used, saving the end-user money. These papers, in addition to using less wood fiber than UFS, also need on average less energy and fewer chemicals to produce and are more eco-efficient than UFS papers.
To evaluate the environmental benefits of our Align™ family of eco-conscious and budget-friendly papers, Resolute commissioned a life cycle assessment (LCA) comparing the Align grades with the North American freesheet market.
This cradle-to-grave analysis compared the environmental impacts of the production, transportation, usage and disposal of Align coated and uncoated grades to the average of North American freesheet paper.
The LCA found Align uncoated grades to have a smaller environmental impact than UFS over the product lifecycle in 14 of 15 categories examined. Our Align coated grade had a smaller environmental impact than the North American coated freesheet average in 13 of 15 categories.
Tracing our Products to Their Source
Increasingly, customers are asking for assurance that the pulp, paper and wood products they buy from us are sourced from sustainably managed and certified forests. All of our pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities have fiber-tracking systems in place, which allow us to follow the flow of wood from origin, through manufacturing processes, to the customer. Most of these tracking systems are certified to one or more internationally recognized chain of custody (CoC) standard, providing independently audited, third-party documentation of the source of the wood and wood fiber used in our products.
A CoC-certified tracking system allows us to declare exactly how much wood and wood fiber comes from forests certified to a sustainable forest management (SFM) standard. Under CoC standards, minimum criteria must also be met for the uncertified content, such as procurement from legal sources and avoiding fiber sourced from protected areas.
Additional information on certification and fiber sourcing can be found on our website. Visit Forest Certification.
Another crucial consideration in terms of stewardship is what happens to a product at the end of its useful life. Resolute transforms recycled fiber into more than 30 different grades of brand-new paper ranging from book grades, hi-brites and super-brites to supercalendered grades and, of course, newsprint and directory grades. To learn more, visit our Recycled Content page.