MONTREAL, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced that its Opitciwan joint-venture sawmill located in Quebec has been awarded the Aboriginal Forest Products Business Leadership Award by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).
The Opitciwan sawmill is a joint venture between the Atikamekw Council of Obedjiwan in Obedjiwan (Quebec) and Resolute Forest Products. The Council has a 55% controlling interest in the facility, and Resolute owns the remaining 45%.
"The success of this operation lies in the complementary strengths of the partners," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Atikamekw community has a deep knowledge of the territory and a talented workforce, while Resolute contributes through its forestry expertise and sales structure. We also share a common interest in ensuring that the forests we rely upon continue to provide for the cultural, environmental and economic needs of future generations."
The joint FPAC-CCAB award recognizes and celebrates Aboriginal entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business that exemplifies industry leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance, and the delivery of high-quality products and services.
The Opitciwan sawmill has been the heart of the Atikamekw community for fourteen years. It employs 165, representing 60% of the community's residents, and generates annual income of C$20 million. To respect the community's culture and harmonize operations with traditional activities, mill production shutdowns are timed with local events. The sawmill has also contributed financial support to provide radio and internet service to the community. In 2013, Opitciwan achieved the distinction of receiving the first ever Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification granted to an Aboriginal company in Eastern Canada.
"Resolute is committed to supporting and maintaining constructive and solid relationships with First Nations by exploring employment and business development opportunities of mutual benefit," added Garneau. "The Opitciwan sawmill is a true success story. It has generated sustainable opportunities in a northern community, and has survived challenging market conditions to emerge with a bright economic future. "
About 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 over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally-recognized sustainable forest management standards, including 65% certified to the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) 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.