Resolute Forest Products Inc. recently announced the reinstatement of its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certificate for the Black Spruce/Dog River-Matawin forest in Northwestern Ontario.
The certificate had been temporarily suspended in January 2014 following an audit by Rainforest Alliance. In keeping with the FSC process, Resolute has since successfully undergone two rigorous audits, which confirmed that the company is in compliance with the FSC standard. A Corrective Action Verification Audit was carried out in June 2015 and a new Annual Surveillance Audit was completed in September 2015. The results of this successful Annual Surveillance Audit were released today by Rainforest Alliance.
"Receiving confirmation that our certificate has been reinstated is welcomed news," said Richard Garneau, Resolute's president and chief executive officer. "This outcome is due in no small part to the diligence of our forestry team in Northwestern Ontario, and to the support of First Nations and a diversity of forest stakeholders, including local communities, unions, and anglers' and hunters' associations, to name a few."
"Our forestry management practices were already in compliance with the legal and regulatory frameworks of Ontario, which are among the most stringent in the world. We now have the confirmation that they also meet the requirements of the FSC standard," added Garneau.
"As we look forward as a company, however, we are concerned with the number of challenging issues currently facing FSC and its membership. These include the adoption of Motion 65, which aims to protect intact forest landscapes and its adaptation to the Canadian specific circumstances; the interpretation of Environment Canada's woodland caribou conservation strategy; the merging of all four Canadian FSC standards into a single one while simultaneously introducing a long list of new indicators; and several other issues. We recognize the considerable efforts of FSC and its membership to address these complex issues and Resolute will continue to actively take part in these efforts. We hope that in doing so, the impact on those whose livelihoods depend on the forest will be taken into consideration in a meaningful way."