Friday, 27 November 2015
FSC Questions Resolute Forest Products’ Good Faith
November 27, 2015 (Bonn, Germany) - In a letter to the president of Resolute Forest Products Canada, FSC responds to their the press release issued on November 25, 2015.
Dear Mr. Garneau,
I saw your press statement on November 25th, where you announce the reinstatement of FSC certification in Ontario.
I also noted your worrying message that “the company is concerned about the viability of FSC certification in the Canadian boreal forest, as are other companies. Until significant progress is made in addressing these matters, Resolute will work to maintain its existing FSC forest management certificates where possible, but will not pursue new certification.”
I trust that you will continue to actively engage in FSC Canada’s efforts to develop a new standard for FSC certification in Canada, which will be based on agreement and support across all 4 chambers of the organization: economic, aboriginal, social, and environmental. Your engagement in this process is welcome, and will give you every possibility to actively influence the Canadian FSC standard in the direction you want to see it go.
At the same time, however, I wonder how your announcement of not wanting to pursue new FSC certification fits with what we would expect of you as a member working in the best interest of FSC.
I have stated to you earlier, that as a certificate holder and a member of FSC, Resolute FP formally accepted to adhere to the Policy of Association of FSC and to meet the membership requirements. A prime requirement is to act as a bonafide member of FSC and to maintain FSC’s credibility and to genuinely support FSC’s purpose, activities and reputation.
It is not clear to me that your new approach meets these requirements, and we continue to receive worrying messages about attempts from Resolute FP to spread negative stories about FSC. I would therefore like to ask you to again reassure FSC that your actions are in good faith.
In the coming weeks, we will also undertake our own analysis of the situation around your membership and will come back to you with our conclusion.
I also noted that your message regarding the Black Spruce / Dog River - Matawin certificate mentioned the support of several stakeholder groups. This is crucial, but one stakeholder group was noticeably missing from this list, namely the environmental organisations. As you know, together with the other stakeholder groups, environmental organisations are very important for the chamber-balanced democracy inside FSC, and I believe it is essential, also for Resolute FP, to actively and constructively engage with these stakeholders. Therefore, we expect Resolute FP to act accordingly.
FSC Director General