At the request of Resolute Forest Products, and with the formal endorsement of the Forest Stewardship Council Canada and the Forest Stewardship Council International, the Rainforest Alliance has agreed to extend the suspension period of a Resolute Forest Products certificate by one additional year. The certificate is for PF Résolu Canada Inc., (RA-FM/COC-005956) located in Lac St-Jean, Quebec.
The Rainforest Alliance had previously suspended the Lac St-Jean certificate due to nonconformities with FSC requirements. In January 2015, at the request of FSC Canada, a six-month extension to the suspension period was granted. The Rainforest Alliance has reassessed the situation and has decided to extend the suspension to July 2, 2016.
The Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks confirmed to Rainforest Alliance that the negotiations between the Government of Quebec, and the Cree and Innu people were progressing well, and confirmed they were working on a woodland caribou habitat rehabilitation strategy. Thus this suspension extension would provide Resolute additional time to address its nonconformities in consideration of these developments.
“The Rainforest Alliance is committed to working with companies large and small to help foster best practices in sustainable forestry, in Canada and throughout the world,” said Richard Donovan, Rainforest Alliance Senior Vice President and Vice President of Forestry. “Our decision to grant one final extension to Resolute is made with the hope that the additional time will allow the issues to be resolved, which is in the best interest of the communities in the Lac St-Jean region. This decision is strongly aligned with our mission to help transform land-use practices.”
In order to reinstate the certificate, Resolute must undergo a conformance verification audit to verify closure of outstanding major nonconformances, as well as an annual surveillance audit to ensure ongoing conformance with FSC principles and criteria. If these conditions cannot be met before the end of the new extension, the Rainforest Alliance will terminate Resolute’s FSC certification agreement for Lac St-Jean, Quebec.
During the suspension, Resolute may not make claims regarding FSC certification, per FSC policy. Resolute has agreed to the terms set forth by the Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance remains committed to upholding the integrity of the FSC system, and to the success of FSC in Canada through the implementation of responsible forest management practices.