Perspectives on Paper

At Resolute Forest Products, we rely on the forest to provide the raw materials for our products, and respect for the environment is integral to what we do. We work hard to operate in a way that is sustainable and reflects the values of our employees, our customers and the communities in which we operate. We are continuously improving our manufacturing processes and reducing our environmental footprint.

Every consumer decision an individual makes has an environmental impact that needs to be taken into consideration. Here are three things to know about paper:

1. Trees are Renewable

Paper is environmentally friendly because it is derived from a completely renewable resource: trees. In Canada, forest cover has remained stable over the last two decades, while the forested area in the United States has increased by 3% over the last sixty years. This eco-graphic from Two Sides and analysis from the Conference Board of Canada show how demand for sustainably produced forest products like paper, pulp and lumber incentivizes responsible forest management and the preservation of forested land for future generations.

Resolute contributes to Canada’s stable forest cover over time, as everything we harvest from our company-controlled forest lands grows back, either through natural regeneration or replanting. Visit the Forestry and Fiber Sourcing section of our website to learn more about our forestry practices.

2. Responsible Forestry is Sustainable

It is not enough just to replace trees; forests need to be managed in a sustainable manner, taking environmental, social and economic values into account. Specific action plans should be adopted that:

  • Protect wildlife, fish, plants, soil and water
  • Conserve biodiversity
  • Provide for other land uses, such as recreational spaces and cultural heritage sites

Paper mills and sawmills that have fiber-tracking (chain of custody) systems can provide assurance that the fiber supply comes from acceptable sources, such as third-party-certified woodlands and legal harvesting operations. As a consumer, you should look for paper sourced from sustainably managed forests.

At Resolute, we have third-party certified 100% of our company-controlled woodlands to sustainable forest management standards. We have also implemented fiber-tracking systems at all our pulp and paper mills to ensure that the fiber used – including fiber purchased from external suppliers – comes from responsible sources and is legally harvested. Visit the Forest Certification section of our website for details.

This blog post, from Earth Day 2015, shows how the forest products industry contributes to sustainable forest management by providing incentives for landowners to manage their woodlands responsibly.

3. Paper is Recyclable

Keep in mind that nothing goes to waste in forestry. Trees provide the raw material for houses, furniture and shipping/packaging materials, as well as heat and energy, among other uses. But to ensure the best, most effective use of trees, paper should always be recycled.

Every ton of recyclable paper diverted from landfills conserves landfill space, saves electricity and water, avoids air pollutants, and maximizes the use of the trees required to produce paper products. Recycling is one of the simplest gestures we can each make to minimize our environmental impact.

In terms of producing paper, adding recycled content is often seen as an environmental quick fix, but the surprising truth is that this is not always the case. If you consider the total environmental footprint of paper production, including the transportation of raw materials and the use of chemicals, at times it can be more environmentally advantageous to use virgin fiber. Furthermore, fiber strands can only pass through the recycling process a certain number of times. Because of this, we need to continue to source fiber from our forests. If not, we would run out of fiber in just a few months.

At Resolute, we produce approximately 30 different grades of paper with recycled content. In fact, we are one of the leading consumers of old newspapers and magazines in North America. In 2016, we used over 905,000 metric tons of recovered paper. To learn more, visit the Eco-Efficient Products page.

Comparing the Environmental Impact of Alternatives

When an office wants to ‘go green,’ managers often talk about going paperless. But that reasoning may be flawed given the sustainable characteristics of paper and the environmental impacts of switching to electronic communications, says Two Sides, an independent, non-profit organization Resolute has joined that was created to promote the sustainability of print and paper.

For information on the environmental impacts of digital media and how we can balance paper and non-paper communication tools to meet our social and economic needs, check out this blog post about Resolute joining the global myth-busting group, Two Sides, as well as the organization’s other factsheets available at www.twosidesna.org.

Commitment to Sustainability

We are committed to enhancing our environmental performance and ensuring the responsible use of resources in our manufacturing processes. To read about our commitment to sustainability, visit the Public Commitments page.