Forestry and Fiber Sourcing
Resolute Forest Products' commitment to produce quality products that meet the criteria of today's environmentally conscious stakeholders begins with responsible fiber sourcing. This entails the responsible management of the forest entrusted to our care, careful tracking of sources of wood fiber supply and the utilization of recycled fiber.
As at April 1, 2013, Resolute owned or managed 4.7 million hectares (11.5 million acres) of timberland in Canada and the United States. Woodlands owned or managed by the Company provide approximately 32% of our required supply of wood fiber (chips and roundwood) for pulp and paper, with the remaining 68% purchased from external sources.
Note: We previously reported a total area managed of 14.7 million hectares (36.3 million acres). In Quebec, as of April 1, 2013, the timber supply and forest management agreements, initially covering a period of 25 years, were revoked and replaced by 5-year timber supply guarantees. Responsibility for forest management and non-commercial silviculture has been taken over almost entirely by the provincial government. Although the industry remains primarily responsible for harvesting, forest roads and "commercial" silviculture (generating merchantable volumes), it still retains a role in the operational planning of harvesting activities and remains the holder of the sustainable forest management certificates.
Sustainable Fiber Supply
Forest certification and fiber tracking confirm the sustainability of our fiber supply. Strict adherence to internationally recognized sustainable forest management (SFM) standards provides our customers with the assurance that the wood fiber we utilize originates from responsibly managed forests.
As required by provincial laws and regulations, Resolute prepares 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 local community groups, individuals and First Nations communities to participate in the planning process.
To learn more, read our Wood and Fiber Procurement Policy.
Responsible Wood Fiber Procurement
All of our pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities 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).
For details on where our certifications are held, visit the Certification by Operation page.
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 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. 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. We planted a total of 60 million seedlings in 2012.
To put the impact of the forest products industry in perspective, it should be noted that approximately 0.2% of the boreal forest is harvested by the industry each year.1 By comparison, five times this amount on average is disturbed annually by wildfires, insects and disease. The series of time-stamped images below are representative of the typical regeneration of a black spruce forest found in the northern Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec, region.
Click to enlarge
1Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). 2005b. State of Canada’s Forests: 2004-2005, The Boreal Forest, Canadian Forest Service, ISBN 0-662-40014-3, p. 48