Based primarily on the shared priority issues identified by our stakeholders, Resolute Forest Products developed a sustainability strategy that drives all of our sustainability activities and initiatives, including our public commitments.
In 2011, we established a set of ambitious commitments reflecting our approach to balancing the company’s sustainability priorities. Since then, we have been tracking and reporting our progress annually and updating our targets, as necessary, in order to promote continuous improvement. By steadily improving our year-over-year performance, we are pleased to report that we have substantially achieved or surpassed our stated goals and targets for 2016.
We believe our goal to support continuous improvement requires the use of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) targets. While some of the goals listed below meet the SMART standard, others are still being refined. One of the main responsibilities of our sustainability committee is to refine our sustainability commitments. This cross-functional group, comprised of senior managers from various departments, recommends strategies, sets goals, measures results, oversees reporting, communications and continuous improvement, and assesses stakeholder expectations and sustainability trends.
Our year-over-year performance has steadily improved, and we continue to build on a solid base of what we believe are meaningful accomplishments. The following tables provide a summary Resolute’s sustainability performance for all the operations we owned or operated as at December 31, 2016.
Environmental Performance Update
Being proactive for the environment means steadily reducing Resolute’s environmental footprint and responsibly managing the natural resources in our care.
That is why we closely measure, track and report on the company’s performance and progress toward our ongoing and new commitments. We understand that in order to reinforce our environmental credentials, we must be able to demonstrate that, over time, we have reduced our carbon emissions, made measurable performance improvements and ensured careful stewardship of the forests we manage.
As an industry leader and supplier of choice, Resolute has moved beyond minimal regulatory compliance and environmental incident management to proactively differentiate ourselves in a number of key performance areas.
We remain committed to maintaining our 100% forest management and chain of custody certifications to internationally recognized standards such as Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). This ensures all the fiber we process comes from responsible sources.
Social Performance Update
Resolute’s role in our operating communities extends well beyond the jobs we create, the taxes we pay and the charitable support we provide. We work to build reciprocal business relationships, grassroots support and positive government relations through transparency and information-sharing, as well as through active involvement in local organizations and community projects.
We regularly engage with Aboriginal peoples, customers and key stakeholders such as employees/unions, retirees, investors, governments, environmental non-governmental organizations, local communities and suppliers/partners in order to ensure our sustainability strategy, public commitments and reporting continue to reflect the interests and needs of our stakeholders and other interested parties.
To maintain effective sustainability oversight and management practices, we continue to monitor our sustainability performance and recommend areas for improvement through our corporate sustainability committee. In 2016, we created an internal product stewardship committee – with representatives from the environment, operations, legal and sales departments – which has a mandate to support compliance with product stewardship regulations and to expand the possible end uses of our products.
A tracking initiative was launched in January 2017 to report more detailed quantitative information on operating community outreach, including volunteer activities, charitable contributions, stakeholder engagement and other activities.
Demographic Changes and Labor Relations
Resolute’s long-term competitiveness is tied to our ability to attract results-driven and action-oriented employees and to allow natural leaders to learn and grow within our organization. To achieve this goal, we closely manage and track our performance in a number of key areas.
In 2016, we hired 1,109 new permanent and temporary employees and raised our employer profile through targeted recruitment practices, such as our engineering graduate program. Since the creation of this program in 2013, Resolute has hired 63 engineering graduates to work in our network of facilities.
In the past year, we renewed or entered into a number of agreements with unions, covering approximately 1,300 employees, primarily in our sawmills and woodlands in Canada.
We continue to train our employees on Resolute’s Code of Business Conduct. All new and existing employees receive communications about the company’s diversity, equal employment, anti-discrimination and harassment policies.