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®). A portion 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 forest 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, depending on the standard(s) used.
In 2021, Resolute maintained our existing forest management certificates (SFI and FSC) for all of the woodlands we manage directly and indirectly in Quebec and Ontario. We also completed certification audits for all of our FSC forest management certificates in accordance with the new standards in 2021. We continue to be the largest holder of SFI forest management certificates, and among the largest holders of FSC certificates in North America.
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 26% are certified to the FSC
Forest Management Standard (13.1 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, staff and external stakeholders that environmental impacts are being addressed and managed. 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. In 2021, Resolute continued to collaborate with Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks as a member of the newly established Table of Partners for the Implementation of the Management of Woodland Caribou Habitat Action Plan.
In Ontario, a shareholder cooperative model is in place whereby responsibility for forest management and certification is under the control of a management entity, of which Resolute is a member. In addition, we continue to support a coalition of mayors from northern and Indigenous communities to provide the provincial government with feedback on the management of species at risk.
At the federal level, we also continue to collaborate on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s proposed action plan 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.