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 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and optimizing the use of renewable energy.

SBTi Reduction Targets

Resolute continues to raise the bar, increasing expectations of its own performance. In 2021, we surpassed our 2025 GHG emission reduction target ahead of schedule, and in 2022, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated our new reduction goals1, which include a 41.5% reduction in absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2026 from a 2015 base year, and a 16.5% reduction in scope 3 emissions within the same timeframe. Our scope 1 and 2 target is in line with a well-below 2°C trajectory, while our scope 3 target is in line with a 2°C trajectory, conforming to the SBTi Criteria and Recommendations (version 4.2). conforming to the SBTi Criteria and Recommendations (version 4.2). The target boundary includes biogenic emissions and removals from bioenergy feedstocks.

By the end of 2023, we had achieved a 51.8% reduction in absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions across our manufacturing facilities compared to 2015. Compared to 2000 levels, our climate actions amount to an 89% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions at our pulp, paper and tissue mills. Together, over the past two decades, our carbon-reduction initiatives have cut more than 7.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents per year, comparable to taking close to 1.8 million cars off the road.

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

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 emission reduction projects, please visit our Carbon Footprint page. To learn more on our renewable energy initiatives, please visit our Green Energy page.

Climate Change Governance

In 2023, Resolute joined the Paper Excellence (PE) Group of Companies. PE Group's Management Board is responsible for the overall business and sustainability strategies. Climate change and carbon issues are discussed and reviewed on a regular basis, as all capital projects considered by the company require an evaluation of their impact on GHG emissions.

In addition, our Global Carbon Strategy Steering 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 senior leadership and our environment, carbon, climate change and sustainability subject matter experts.

Overall responsibility for risks and opportunities at the mill level resides with our vice president, Environment, 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 of Resolute's operations, 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, consolidates data from each mill using verification processes for accuracy. This helps us close any minor gaps in our scope 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 our CDP Climate disclosure.

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.

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.

1 Resolute’s sustainability performance includes all of the operations we operated as at December 31, 2022, with the exception of the Thunder Bay (Ontario) pulp and paper mill, which was held separate until its sale to an affiliate of Atlas Holdings on August 1, 2023, as required by the Consent Agreement between Domtar Corporation and the Canadian Commissioner of Competition registered with the Competition Tribunal of Canada on December 28, 2022. Our SBTi targets were made prior to the sale of the Thunder Bay mill and are thus subject to re-evaluation in 2024.