Resolute Forest Products has certified an additional 3.5 million hectares (8.6 million acres) of Company-managed forestlands in Quebec to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. These new certifications raise the total area of Resolute tenures that are FSC-certified in North America to 15.8 million hectares (39 million acres), an area larger than Greece and twice the size of Ireland.
The newly-certified areas include 2.2 million hectares (5.4 million acres) in the Baie-Comeau region of Côte-Nord and 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres) in the Senneterre region of Abitibi, the latter representing a joint certification with Tembec. The combined area is equivalent in size to Belgium.
Resolute has committed to increasing FSC certification of its forest tenures from 18% in 2010 to 80% in 2015. As of today, the Company has certified approximately 65% of its forests to FSC standards. 100% of the forests managed by Resolute are already certified to at least one of three internationally-recognized responsible forest management standards - FSC, Canadian Standards Association (CSA Z809) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
"Obtaining FSC certification for an area this size is a major milestone," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The dedication of our forestry teams has been instrumental in Resolute becoming the largest manager of FSC-certified forests in the world. Such an achievement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to responsibly managing the natural resources in our care."
FSC is an international certification and labelling system dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world's forests. Co-founded in Canada by the World Wildlife Fund in 1993, FSC works to endorse environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. FSC is an important example of partnership between environmental organizations and businesses.