Working With Stakeholders
Engaging and building productive working relationships with our stakeholders is at the core of our commitment to being a responsible and responsive company. We view a stakeholder as any individual or group that has an interest in or may be affected by – or have an effect on – our operations, initiatives or products. Resolute is committed to listening and contributing to constructive conversations with our stakeholders, including customers, employees, Aboriginal peoples, environmental organizations, business partners, governments, investors and members of the communities where we live and work.
We engage with stakeholders in a variety of ways in order to better understand their interests, concerns and goals, including townhall meetings, public consultations, and surveys for customers and operations. These efforts help us identify high-impact, high-interest issues (or shared priority issues) that drive everything from the development of our sustainability strategy to decisions about what we report on and how we set public commitments. As part of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting process, Resolute has also conducted targeted stakeholder outreach to better understand the sustainability issues of material importance to the company and how stakeholders perceive we manage these issues.
Outlined below are a few of our stakeholder engagement initiatives that take place on an annual or more frequent basis.
Instituting Information-Sharing Groups
Through our information-sharing program, we build and maintain strong relationships with key members of our operating communities. These groups meet regularly, providing a forum for discussion on a range of issues of mutual importance to the participants – from harvest area allocation and energy conservation to implementing solutions to noise pollution.
Developing Constructive Ties With Aboriginal Communities
We are determined to continue developing constructive relationships with our First Nations neighbors, with whom we share a common interest in ensuring that our forests continue to provide for future generations. We regularly and systematically engage with chiefs, band councils and elders in the communities located in or near our operations to ensure that the company takes local environmental, social and economic issues into consideration as it goes about its business.
Creating Online Discussion Forums
In keeping with our approach to transparency and sustainability, we launched social media platforms – Forum boréal in Quebec in 2013, and Boreal Forum in Ontario in 2014 – to encourage open dialogue and foster discussion with all interested stakeholders in communities where we have boreal forest operations. Both forums are anchored in fact-based, third-party reviews of the state of Ontario and Quebec forests.
In our 2010 sustainability report, Resolute committed to developing a sustainability strategy to align our environmental stewardship and social responsibility efforts with our business objectives. In 2011, Resolute established a sustainability committee composed of senior managers and issue experts tasked with developing this strategy, based on interests and concerns identified by a number of key stakeholders.
The precautionary approach constitutes an important element in Resolute’s approach to sustainability, meaning that where there is a threat of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty is not used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. We support ongoing research on the impact of our business activities on the environment and are continuously seeking methods to improve our performance. Conducting environmental reviews prior to the implementation of new projects, along with constant performance monitoring, also demonstrates our commitment to responsibly managing the natural resources in our care.
Our sustainability strategy is based on a balanced approach to environmental, social and economic performance and is designed to enhance our competitive position by focusing on: improving resource efficiency, which helps control fiber, fuel and power costs; moving beyond regulatory compliance and environmental incident management to differentiate the company as an environmental supplier of choice; positioning Resolute as a competitive employer; and building solid relations in our operating communities.
The company’s sustainability strategy has four areas of primary focus, supported by public commitments made in a number of key performance areas. The strategy is summarized below.
Sustainability Oversight and Commitments
The overall responsibility for our sustainability performance resides with our president and chief executive officer, but we rely on our sustainability committee to support the delivery of our key commitments and implement related plans.
The sustainability committee is a cross-functional group of senior managers from sales and human resources to purchasing, engineering and environment, among other departments. It is accountable to the executive team and chaired by the vice president, corporate communications, sustainability and government affairs. The committee’s mandate is to recommend strategies, set goals and measure results, oversee reporting and communications, ensure continuous improvement, and assess stakeholder expectations and sustainability trends. The committee is also charged with providing project oversight on the company’s key sustainability commitments.