TORONTO and MONTREAL, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Resolute Forest Products (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are pleased to announce that Resolute has become the largest manager of Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified forests in the world.
The Company recently certified 3.2 million hectares (7.9 million acres) of forestlands in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec to the FSC Boreal Standard. This certification raises the total area of Resolute-managed FSC-certified forests in North America to 10.3 million hectares (25.6 million acres), an area twice the size of Nova Scotia and larger than Portugal, Hungary or South Korea.
"Becoming the world's largest FSC holder is a major milestone in our efforts to become a positive force for sustainability within the forest products industry," stated Richard Garneau, Resolute's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Resolute's growing commitment to FSC complements other key sustainability initiatives, including the Company's membership in WWF's Climate Savers Program, which helps companies set and achieve ambitious emission reduction targets, as well as membership in the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement."
FSC is an international certification and labelling system dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world's forests. Co-founded in Canada by WWF in 1993, FSC works to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. FSC is an important example of how environmental organizations and businesses can work together to conserve important regions and wildlife while ensuring long-term success for industry.
"WWF congratulates Resolute for their FSC-certification achievement," said Gerald Butts, President and Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Canada. "This success, coupled with their commitment to the Climate Savers program, shows the value and importance of making conservation a business priority, and the critical role that corporations can and must play in addressing the major environmental challenges we are facing today."
Under the WWF Climate Savers Program, Resolute has pledged to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent below 2000 levels by 2015. Resolute also made a series of other commitments as part of its Climate Savers membership, including increasing its FSC certification to 80 percent by 2015. With the latest certification, Resolute has passed the halfway point in delivering on its 80 percent commitment.
"Resolute Forest Products has long played an important role in the Ontario forest products industry. Certainly this is a tremendous milestone for Resolute and we are proud of their ongoing commitment to sustainable forest management practices," stated Michael Gravelle, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources. "I want to personally congratulate all the employees of Resolute on this accomplishment, and I look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the Company as we strengthen the sector together."
Resolute will continue working to protect the forests entrusted to its care and to improve its overall sustainability performance, enhancing its reputation as an environmental supplier of choice. Resolute is committed to the three pillars of sustainability - environmental, social and economic.
Resolute Forest Products previously operated as AbitibiBowater. Information about the certifications can be found at www.info.fsc.org under the name AbiBow. The most recent certification is under license code FSC® C108950.
WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive (www.wwf.ca). WWF Climate Savers was founded in 1999 to engage businesses in establishing ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets and voluntarily and creatively working to reduce emissions. Leading corporations have established ambitious targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions voluntarily. By increasing efficiency, Climate Savers companies are saving hundreds of millions of dollars, proving that protecting the environment is sound business practice (www.wwf.ca/about_us/business/climate_savers).
Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The Company owns or operates 21 pulp and paper mills and 22 wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea. Marketing its products in more than 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic. Resolute is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, in which businesses establish ambitious targets to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work aggressively toward achieving them.
SOURCE RESOLUTE FOREST PRODUCTS INC.