Resolute Forest Products

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Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Type Public
Traded as TSXRFP
NYSERFP
Industry Pulp and Paper
Founded 2007 (Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater merger)
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec
Canada
Area served Worldwide
Key people Richard B. Evans
(Chairman)
Richard Garneau
(President)
Products Newsprint
Commercial printing papers
Market pulp
Wood products
Revenue Increase US$ 4.756 billion ("2011")1
Operating income Increase US$ 198 million ("2011")1
Net income Decrease US$ 41 million("2011")1
Total assets Decrease US$ 6.298 billion ("2011")1
Total equity Decrease US$ 3.477 billion ("2011")1
Employees 10,000 (2011)
Website www.ResoluteFP.com

'Resolute Forest Products (French:Produits forestiers Résolu), formerly known as AbitibiBowater Inc., is a pulp and paper manufacturer headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, formed by the merger of Bowater and Abitibi-Consolidated, which was announced 29 January 2007.2 At the time, AbitibiBowater was the third largest pulp and paper company in North America, and the eighth largest in the world. On 16 April 2009 the company filed for creditor protection in the United States and similar protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada, eventually reporting debt of about US$6 billion.3 The company won court approval for $206 million to finance restructuring.4 AbitibiBowater emerged from creditor protection on 9 December 2010.5 AbitibiBowater changed its operating name to Resolute Forest Products in late 2011.67

Resolute Forest Products is a member of the Forest Products Association of Canada.

Operations

The company website reports Resolute Forest Products manages “approximately 14.9 million hectares (36.9 million acres) of forestland in North America (as of June 30, 2011). 98% of this area is public land in Canada, managed through long-term forest management arrangements that include a public input process and regular periodic government auditing.”

Resolute became a member of the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Saver’s Program on November 10, 2011 with a commitment to “reduce their absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 65 per cent by 2015 below 2000 levels” .8

Controversy

On 18 May 2010, Resolute Forest Products joined 29 other organizations including Greenpeace and The David Suzuki Foundation9 to become a founding member of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA).10 The agreement formalizes the members’ commitments to conserving vast areas of forests and enabling the legislated protection of large-scale areas that are needed to preserve threatened species such as woodland caribou. Claiming a lack of progress on delivering results within the CBFA, particularly on the creation of protected areas and caribou conservation plans, Greenpeace and Canopy, two founding signatories, departed the agreement in December 2012 and April 2013 respectively.11 Other environmental organizations suspended work with Resolute on May 21, 2013 announcing that "Resolute will not do the minimum that the science says is required to protect our forests and the threatened caribou that call them home12".

Greenpeace released a report examining Resolute's sustainability claims in May 2013, alleging that the company is deceiving customers about the sustainability of their forestry operations and their interactions with communities, First Nations and workers.13 Greenpeace withdrew an earlier criticism of Resolute Forest Products on 19 March 2013 noting that a December 2012 campaign against the company “incorrectly stated that Resolute had breached the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement” .14

Resolute Forest Products has been criticized by Greenpeace and other organizations for advancing logging and roadbuilding in endangered species habitat in Quebec and Ontario.15 The primary workers' union has recently been critical of the company's attempts to renegotiate pension contributions with their pension underfunded by approximately $1.9 billion.16 On 3 May 2013, however, it was reported that an agreement was put in place which may address the ongoing pension dispute with Resolute agreeing to increase its pension payments and “stabilize the pension plan over the next decade.”17

On May 23, 2013 Resolute filed a $7,000,000 defamation lawsuit against Greenpeace Canada and two of its staff in Ontario Superior Court alleging the organization interfered with economic relations with their customers.18 In response Greenpeace launched a legal defense fund and characterized the lawsuit as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP).

On August 29, 2013 a case study examining the use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Controlled Wood system by Resolute was released. The report concludes that Resolute's improper application of Forest Stewardship Council standards threatens the integrity of the FSC system and brand. On January 1, 2014, after a successful appeal by the Grand Council of the Crees, three FSC certificates covering more than 8 mio. ha. of forest, were suspended. FSC found violations of its principles relating to indigenous Peoples’ rights, environmental impacts, forest benefits, monitoring and assessment, and High Conservation Value forests.19

References

  1. ^ a b c d e http://www.resolutefp.com/uploadedFiles/Investors/Financial_Reports/ABH-Q4-2011_Fact_Sheet-2012-02-09-EN.pdf
  2. ^ "Abitibi, Bowater merging to create forestry giant". CBC News. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2007-02-26. dead link
  3. ^ "AbitibiBowater gets bankruptcy protection in Canada". CBC News. 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  4. ^ "AbitibiBowater gets court OK for $206 mln DIP". Reuters. 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  5. ^ "AbitibiBowater emerges from bankruptcy". Reuters. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  6. ^ "AbitibiBowater Changing Name To Resolute Forest Products". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  7. ^ Forsyth, Paul (28 December 2011). "New name for AbitibiBowater". NiagaraThisWeek.com. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Resolute Forest Products Joins WWF Climate Savers Program". WWF. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  9. ^ Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: Who’s involved
  10. ^ Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: The Agreement
  11. ^ "Another environmental group pulls out of Canadian logging pact". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 2013-04-17. 
  12. ^ "Environmental groups suspend further work with Resolute Forest Products under Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement". The Wall Street Journal. 2013-05-21. 
  13. ^ http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/forests/boreal/Resources/Reports/Resolute-False-Promises-the-unsustainability-report-2013/
  14. ^ "Notice of correction regarding Resolute Forest Products’ operations". Greenpeace. 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  15. ^ http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/resolute/
  16. ^ CBC News http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/08/10/tby-resolute-forest-products.html |url= missing title (help). 
  17. ^ "Kenora mill workers union says conflict over pensions may be settled for good". Kenora Daily Miner and News. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  18. ^ The Star (Toronto) http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/06/24/quebec_forestry_company_suing_greenpeace_for_7_million.html |url= missing title (help). 
  19. ^ "Resolute Forest Products’ FSC Forest Management Certificates to be suspended". FSC Newsroom. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 

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