Forestry and Fiber Sourcing

Resolute Forest Products’ commitment to producing quality products that meet the criteria of today’s environmentally conscious stakeholders begins with responsible fiber sourcing. This includes the responsible management of forests entrusted to our care, careful tracking of wood fiber sources, and the use of recycled fiber.

Forest certification and fiber tracking help to ensure the sustainability of our fiber supply and other forest values, including biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. Strict adherence to internationally recognized forest management and chain of custody (CoC) standards provides our customers with the assurance that the wood fiber we utilize originates from responsible sources. For details about our certified operations, visit the Certification by Operation page.

Here are some of the highlights of our work in responsible forest management and wood fiber sourcing:

  • 100% of the woodlands we manage are third-party certified to internationally recognized certification standards.
  • 100% of Resolute’s manufacturing facilities have a CoC tracking system compliant with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), all of which require that 100% of the fiber processed meets minimum due diligence requirements related to risks of illegal logging and other important sustainability issues.1
  • 91% of the wood supply for sawmills and 52% of virgin wood fiber inputs for pulp and paper mills are certified to internationally recognized standards, with the exception of the U.S. sawmills we acquired in 2020.

For 2020 and beyond, we remain committed to maintaining 100% certification of Resolute-managed woodlands to internationally recognized certification standards, as well as maintaining 100% chain of custody certification at our certified pulp, paper and tissue mills and wood products facilities.

For Resolute, responsible environmental stewardship is an ethical obligation and a business imperative, and integral to our overall commitment to sustainability. We recognize that the long-term future of our company and the communities in which we operate depends on responsible management of the natural resources in our care and the performance of our operations. That is why we are deeply committed to managing the forest responsibly for future generations. We recognize and value wood as a renewable, high-quality, reliable and environmentally friendly raw material for our paper, pulp and wood products. Resolute’s Wood and Fiber Sourcing Policy (originally implemented in 2011 as Resolute's Wood and Fiber Procurement Policy), applied in conjunction with our 100% chain-of-custody-certified tracking systems helps manufacturers and traders avoid timber and timber products from unacceptable sources.

In 2020, Resolute received a score of “A-” for our forests disclosures to CDP, the highest score achieved in this category by any North American forest products company, placing us at the leadership level. This score is reflective of our environmental best practices, and the actions we have taken to manage harvest risk and implement monitoring programs.

Where Does Our Wood and Virgin Fiber Come From?

  • Crown land in Canada on which we hold harvesting rights, volume commitments, short-term volume allocations and auction sales
  • Purchases from private forest landowners in Canada and the United States
  • Wood chips from Resolute sawmills and from external suppliers
  • Property the company owns or leases

Most of the virgin fiber consumed by our operations in Canada is sourced from Resolute’s managed forests. For our operations in the United States, much of the fiber is sourced externally, through a supplier network, from numerous small, non-industrial private forest landowners, most of whom have chosen not to pursue third-party certification for their typically small holdings due to the applicable costs and administrative requirements involved. Nonetheless, we are continually working with suppliers and industry trade associations to encourage these small landowners to certify their properties to forest management standards that are designed specifically for them, such as the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS).

Our own certifications require us to work only with suppliers who are trained in the use of best management practices for timber harvesting and who commit to being accountable for implementing these practices. This helps ensure that environmental concerns, such as protection of water quality, soil and endangered species, are addressed within the areas from which we source our timber, even though the non-industrial private forest landowners may not themselves be certified.

  2018 2019 2020
Total Fiber sourced (m3) 8,226,795 7,758,788 7,774,356
Proportion of virgin fiber (%) 100.0 100.0 100.0
Proportion of recycled fiber (%) N/A N/A N/A
Proportion of virgin fiber consumed with forest management certification (%) 91.9 91.2 90.5
Proportion of total virgin fiber supply sourced through SFI sourcing requirements, PEFC due dilligence or FSC controlled wood (%) 100.0 100.0 100.0
  2018 2019 2020
Total Fiber sourced (m3) - - 1,108,838
Proportion of virgin fiber (%) - - 100.0
Proportion of recycled fiber (%) - - N/A
Proportion of virgin fiber consumed with forest management certification (%) * - - 0
Proportion of total virgin fiber supply sourced through SFI sourcing requirements, PEFC due dilligence or FSC controlled wood (%)* - - 0

* Resolute is committed to integrating its three U.S. sawmills into the company's multisite chain of custody certification in 2021

  2018 2019 2020
Total Fiber sourced (odmt) 6,148,388 4,843,669 4,407,967
Canada 2,973,573 2,847,309 2,587,004
United States 3,174,815 1,996,360 1,820,963
Proportion of virgin fiber (%) 94.3 95.7 96.3
Proportion of recycled fiber (%) 5.7 4.3 3.3
Proportion of virgin fiber consumed with forest management certification (%) 48.2 51.9 43.5
Proportion of total virgin fiber supply sourced through SFI sourcing requirements, PEFC due dilligence or FSC controlled wood (%) 100.0 100.0 100.0

Sustainably Managing Forests

The vast majority of the forests we manage are in Canada, where principles of sustainable forest management are used to balance environmental, social and economic objectives. Canadian forest products companies operate in a highly regulated environment with active enforcement by federal, provincial and local government partners. In fact, the Canadian boreal forest is one of the world’s most robust and most regulated forests. A Yale University study described Canada’s forestry laws and regulations as being among the most stringent in the world. Furthermore, Canadian forest products companies and consumers benefit from numerous conservation activities such as sound protected-area development and collaborative forest management strategies.

In Canada, as required by provincial laws and regulations, Resolute prepares 20- or 25-year forest management plans that are updated every five years in collaboration with government and other stakeholders. Public consultation is part of the planning process and critical for the development of collaborative forest management strategies, which ensure that social needs are satisfied and values are protected.

Our Forests Are 100% Regenerated

Less than half of one percent of Canada’s boreal forest is harvested each year – far less than what is disturbed annually by natural causes such as forest fires, insects and disease.

Approximately 75% of the area harvested through forestry operations grows back naturally. The other 25% is promptly reforested via seeding or planting of seedlings. Responsibly managing timberlands, using wood before natural disturbances occur, and salvaging wood after natural disturbances have occurred can safeguard the forest’s natural life cycle and ensure its sustainability.

Optimizing Fiber Use

list of products derived from a log

Our manufacturing facilities and processes optimize fiber use, reducing waste and creating value. Harvested trees are processed into lumber, mainly for construction or renovation of houses, which preserves the carbon accumulated in the wood for decades. Processing a log at a sawmill generates by-products, mainly wood chips, sawdust, shavings and bark. The bark is used to generate energy, while chips and other residues are used mainly to produce pulp and paper. Our wood remanufacturing facilities produce box spring components, finger joints, furring strips and I-joists, further ensuring optimal fiber use. For the little waste that is left, we identify beneficial-use alternatives, such as land spreading, reducing what we send to landfills. For more information on our waste management initiatives, visit our Key Performance Indicators page.

A tree's journey at Resolute

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1 With the exception of the Hagerstown (Maryland) tissue converting facility and the three U.S. sawmills acquired in 2020, the fiber tracking systems of which will be certified in 2021.