Climate Change and Energy

At Resolute Forest Products, we steward renewable, sustainable, fossil-free resources that play an important role in fighting climate change. Our vision is to operate a model manufacturing company with a climate-adaptable business model, built with the strongest values, the highest respect for sustainability and the calling to serve our people and communities. We are delivering on our strong commitment to climate and green energy by reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and optimizing the use of renewable energy.

Actions to reduce GHG emissions and combat climate change are cornerstones of our sustainability strategy. We achieved our goal to reduce the company’s absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2025 compared to 2015 levels last year, the equivalent of removing nearly 700,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. By year-end, we had achieved a 33.6% reduction in absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions across company operations. Our climate change initiatives also include an 85.6% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions at our pulp, paper and tissue mills compared to 2000 levels. Together, our carbon-reduction initiatives over the past two decades have reduced emissions by more than 8.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents per year, comparable to taking close to two million cars off the road.

We continue to raise the bar, increasing expectations of our own performance. Having surpassed our 2025 GHG emission reduction target ahead of schedule, we are now in the process of setting a new reduction goal in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which will include scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emission reduction targets. Resolute is constantly evaluating and improving our manufacturing processes by optimizing energy efficiency; decreasing our consumption of fuel, steam and electricity; reducing our carbon footprint through fuel switching; and focusing on renewable energy use. For more information on our on emissions reducing projects, please visit our Carbon Footprint page. To learn more on our renewable energy initiatives, please visit our Green Energy page.     

bar graphs showing Resolute's greenhouse gas emissions reductions since 2015

Disclosing our Performance

Resolute’s commitment to transparency and annual sustainability reporting includes disclosing our annual environmental performance to CDP, a globally-recognized, non-profit framework that has long championed environmental disclosure as standard business practice. Participation in CDP’s disclosure programs allows organizations to measure their progress and drive action around their sustainability performance. Resolute has reported our carbon footprint to CDP since 2006, beginning with scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, and adding scope 3 (supply chain) emissions in 2016.

In CDP’s 2021 climate change program, we increased our score to a “B” from “B-”, placing us at the management level. The improvement reflects the concrete actions we have taken on climate issues, and the steps we have implemented to manage our carbon footprint. We are committed to participating in CDP’s climate change program on an annual basis.

Climate Change Governance

Resolute's executive team is responsible for the company’s business and sustainability strategies, which are approved by our board of directors. Climate change and carbon footprint issues are discussed and reviewed on a regular basis at the corporate level, as all capital projects considered by the company require an evaluation of their impact on GHG emissions.

Our board of directors’ environment, health, safety and sustainability (EHSS) committee provides oversight of the company's environmental performance and guidance on our approach to climate change. The committee meets quarterly, reviewing our annual sustainability commitments, including targets to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions. 

In addition, our corporate carbon committee serves as a training and information mechanism for issues related to carbon regulation. All risks and opportunities related to our carbon strategy are reviewed by the committee, which is a cross-functional group of vice presidents and representatives (Operations, Legal, Treasury, Finance, Energy, Procurement) that is chaired by our vice president, Environment, Energy and Innovation. Company results are reported to our senior managers and the executive team that in turn reports to our board's EHSS committee, as well as the full board of directors.

Overall responsibility for risks and opportunities at the mill level resides with our vice president, Environment, Energy and Innovation, while our director, Forestry, has responsibility for risks and opportunities in our woodland operations. A top-down approach is in place for assessing risks and opportunities, which relate primarily to regulatory changes, strategic capital investments, consumer preference changes, reputation and weather- and climate-related challenges.

At each Resolute facility, facility managers are responsible for implementing site-specific carbon- and energy-related projects. They collaborate with project engineers, financial controllers and environmental coordinators in order to carry out their projects. Environment coordinators also ensure our facilities comply fully with environmental regulations, such as those related to GHG emissions.

A thorough emissions inventory is essential for identifying opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint. Resolute’s Environment group, overseen by our vice president, Environment, Energy and Innovation, consolidates data from each mill using verification processes for accuracy. This helps us close any minor gaps in our scopes 1 and 2 inventories. We work diligently to track our sawmill emissions, allocate emissions from our cogeneration facilities, and include emissions from our landfill sites.

Climate Risks

Resolute’s reputation, environmental and legal responsibilities, regulatory obligations, financial reporting, and supply chains are all significantly impacted by climate and energy-related factors.

Our operations are subject to climate variations, which impact the productivity of forests, the frequency and severity of wildfires, the availability of water, the distribution and abundance of species, and the spread of disease or insect epidemics, which in turn may adversely or positively affect timber production and availability. Over the past several years, changing weather patterns and climatic conditions due to natural and man-made causes have added to the unpredictability and frequency of natural disasters. 

The risks associated with global, regional and local weather conditions, as well as climate change – including the costs of complying with evolving climate change regulations and implementing climate-change mitigation programs – are disclosed annually in the company’s 2021 Form 10-K.

Partnering With Our Industry Associations

When Resolute joined the elite World Wildlife Fund® (WWF®) Climate Savers program in November 2011, we made commitments that were among the most ambitious in our global industry to reduce our GHG emissions. We committed to reducing absolute GHG emissions (scopes 1 and 2) to 65% of 2000 levels by 2015. At the end of 2015, our reduction had reached an impressive 70%, and Resolute's participation in the program was completed with the expiration of the five-year term of the agreement. For more information on our on emissions reducing projects, please visit our Carbon Footprint page.

Resolute welcomes the opportunity to work with others to support global carbon emission reduction efforts. As a member of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), we have signed on to its "30 by 30” Climate Change Challenge, which commits the Canadian forest products industry to removing 30 megatons of CO2 per year by 2030 – more than 13% of the Canadian government’s total emission reduction target. FPAC estimates that from 2015 to 2018, the industry increased annual net carbon removals by 8.3 megatonnes, nearly 1/3 of "30 by 30" target. In the United States, we work with the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA), supporting the U.S. industry’s goal of achieving a 20% reduction in members’ GHG emissions from 2005 to 2020. Together, AF&PA members surpassed the target by achieving a 24.1% reduction of absolute GHG emissions compared to 2005.

Joining the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition

In July 2016, Resolute became an inaugural Canadian member of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), a voluntary global partnership that brings together leaders to help address climate change by putting a price on carbon. Resolute supports carbon pricing policies as a market mechanism that drives competitiveness, creates jobs, encourages innovation and delivers meaningful emission reductions. A market price for carbon is currently included in decision-making at our facilities.