Resolute Forest Products seeing the forest for the trees

By Jessica Fisher, Manager, Strategic Partnerships
A week ago I moved from a busy downtown Toronto neighbourhood to a quiet suburb west of the city. On my Sunday walk, I was struck by how close I now live to nature; trails, ravines and forests are all within five minutes of my home. Looking up at the trees, I felt grateful to live in a place where forests are valued not only for their economic importance but also for their environmental and social worth.
One organization showing that they truly care about our forests is Resolute Forest Products. I was excited to hear that Resolute, one of WWF’s corporate partners, surpassed a major milestone this week by becoming the largest manager of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests in the world. Resolute announced that by recently certifying 3.2 million hectares (7.9 million acres) of forestlands in Quebec, this raises the total area of Resolute-managed FSC-certified forests in North America to 10.3 million hectares (25.6 million acres). That’s twice the size of Nova Scotia and larger than Portugal, Hungary or South Korea!
FSC-certified logs © N.C. TURNER / WWF-Canon
For anyone not already familiar, FSC was co-founded in Canada by WWF in 1993 and is an international certification and labeling system dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.  It’s an important system for helping industry and consumers make the right choices when creating or purchasing wood and paper products.
In addition to demonstrating that business practices can be responsible, this achievement also helps Resolute honour its commitments to WWF’s Climate Savers program. Resolute pledged in 2011 to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 65% below 2000 levels by 2015, and also made a commitment to increasing its FSC certification to 80% by 2015. This latest certification brings Resolute past the halfway point in delivering on its 80% commitment – pretty impressive at only one year into its Climate Savers membership!
At a time when bad news stories about irresponsible forest practices are making headlines, I feel proud of the way WWF works with companies to advance responsible actions that show being good for the environment can also be good for business.
And as I’m learning more and more in the forests surrounding my new home, good for me, too.