Groundbreaking forest certification effort in Canada
Aerial view of Canadian forests.
Montreal, Canada – Domtar Inc. and WWF-Canada announced today that they have signed an agreement on forest stewardship that commits both organizations to work together to ensure the long-term conservation of forests in Canada. More specifically, Domtar has agreed to certify all of its forests and mills to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards, subject to the successful completion of two pilot projects.
"Environmentally conscious consumers demand a choice. They want paper that includes virgin fibre content, but they also want reassurance that this content comes from well-managed, sustainable forests. These same concerns for forest management also apply to forest products," said Raymond Royer, President and CEO of Domtar. "By adhering to a standard that respects the values of all forest users, including the First Nations, we believe that the public, governments, customers, and investors will also see it as a serious commitment to ensure the sustainability of our operations," added Mr Royer.
"This is an important day for forest conservation in Canada. Domtar’s commitment to this agreement is significant. It has the potential to more than double the amount of hectares certified under the FSC system in North America, and provides a tremendous boost to WWF’s efforts to ensure the long-term future of the Canadian boreal forest," said Monte Hummel, WWF-Canada President.
Both Domtar and WWF-Canada believe that the FSC brand provides consumers with a much-needed choice for eco-sensitive labelled products. By certifying all its forest operations and mills to FSC standards, Domtar will be in a position to significantly expand its existing line of FSC certified products.
Domtar will also be the only paper and forest products company in North America to respond to this growing need by applying FSC certification not only to its forests, but to its manufacturing and distribution activities as well.
Founded in 1993, the Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization. Its members include economic, environmental, and social stakeholders. FSC has developed the only forest certification system that is widely recognized by environmental and social organizations. This certification system ensures an independent evaluation of a forest company's practices, according to rigorous, publicly available forest management standards. FSC is the only system that verifies claims from the forest all the way to the final product, a process known as "chain-of-custody" certification.
Domtar has a long-standing involvement with FSC. After completion of FSC standards for the Great Lakes/St Lawrence forest, Domtar certified its private forests in southern Ontario and upper New York State, and subsequently developed two FSC certified papers: Domtar Cornwall and Domtar Opaque – Plainfield. Domtar’s mills and some of its forest lands were certified by the SmartWood program of the Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit organization that has certified more than 12 million hectares of forests worldwide.
"Domtar’s forestry practices are exemplary and are contributing to the protection of critical forest ecosystems on which the people and wildlife of Canada depend. We congratulate Domtar on its commitment to sustainable forestry," says Tensie Whelan, the Executive Director of the Rainforest Alliance.
Domtar is the third-largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America. It is also a leading manufacturer of business papers, commercial printing and publication papers, and technical and specialty papers. Domtar manages according to internationally recognized standards 22 million acres of forest land in Canada and the US, and produces lumber and other wood products. Domtar has 12,000 employees across North America. The company also has a 50 per cent investment interest in Norampac Inc., the largest Canadian producer of containerboard.
For further information
Vice-President - Communications and Government Relations, Domtar
Tel.: + 1 514 848 5103
Communications Manager, WWF-Canada
Tel: +1 416 484 7726