Forest management standards aim to protect biodiversity, water quality, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value. 100% of the woodlands managed by Resolute Forest Products are third-party certified to at least one internationally recognized forest management standard: Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and/or Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). More than 60% of our externally sourced fiber is also certified to one of these standards, or to the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) standard.
Forest Management Standards and Third-Party Certification
Our adherence to third-party-verified certification standards gives us an important competitive edge. It provides our customers with the assurance that our forests are managed responsibly and sustainably according to rigorous standards developed specifically for local forest conditions. External forest management audits for SFI and FSC are conducted at our operations on a yearly basis.
In 2022, Resolute maintained forest management certificates (SFI and FSC) for all of the woodlands we manage directly and indirectly in Quebec and Ontario. We completed certification audits for all of our FSC forest management certificates in accordance with the new FSC standards in 2021. We are the largest holder of SFI and FSC forest management certificates globally.
Across all operations, we manage directly or indirectly more than 20 million hectares of forestland (50.2 million acres) with an aggregate standing timber inventory of approximately 1.25 billion cubic meters. One hundred percent of these woodlands are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard (50.2 million acres) and 35% are certified to the FSC Forest Management Standard (17.6 million acres), including the Black Spruce and Dog River-Matawin forests in Ontario, as well as five management units in the Abitibi–Nord-du-Québec, Côte-Nord and Mauricie regions of Quebec
We also maintain ISO 14001-certified environmental management systems at all of our woodlands operations. This standard provides assurance to the company's management, employees and external stakeholders that we are addressing the environmental impacts of our managed forests. For more information on ISO 14001, please visit our Environmental Management page.
Forest Management and Public Consultation
Currently, 100% of the forest lands under our management are third-party certified and audited annually by independent certification bodies. These forest lands are located primarily in Canada and are 98% publicly owned. Located in Quebec and Ontario, these public lands are governed by forest management or timber supply agreements that include public consultation processes and regular audits by the government.
Public consultation is an essential step in the sustainable forest management planning process on public lands. In Quebec, the primary responsibility for forest management planning lies with the provincial government, which is also responsible for the public participation process. As such, Resolute has long collaborated with Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, recently divided into two new ministries: Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks; and Natural Resources and Forests.
In Ontario, there are different forest tenure models. Resolute directly manages forests under one of these models, the Sustainable Forest License (SFL), which is granted for a period of up to 20 years and subject to a five-year review. Resolute is also a board member and shareholder of two entities it does not manage directly – an SFL and a forest management corporation – both of which provide the company fiber from Crown Land. In addition, we work proactively with our partners, including mayors and chiefs from northern and Indigenous communities, to provide provincial governments with important feedback on forest-related matters, such as recreational uses and species-at-risk management.
At the federal level, we also continue to collaborate on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s approach to protect and contribute to the recovery of the woodland caribou.
For details about our certified operations and for electronic copies of certificates, visit the Certification by Operation page.