Greenpeace attacks important Domtar and Resolute certification

The existing links between the buyer of Resolute and a company already excluded from FSC environmental certification, Asia Pulp & Paper, lead Greenpeace to request the exclusion of Paper Excellence from the FSC.

The environmentalist pressure group Greenpeace Canada and its counterpart in Indonesia, Auriga Nusantara, are calling on one of the most influential global standards bodies in sustainable forestry, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), to dissociate itself from the Paper Excellence company – recent acquirer of Domtar and Resolute Forest Products in Canada – due to its shareholder relationship with a company already excluded from the FSC, Asia Pulp & Paper, for its poor forestry practices in Indonesia.

In a complaint filed with the FSC, and made public Wednesday morning, Greenpeace Canada and Auriga Nusantara maintain that “the FSC has formally dissociated itself from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) since 2007 due to its involvement in social conflicts and the environmental destruction in Indonesia.

Citing “tangible and irrefutable evidence” accumulated over two years, Greenpeace Canada and Auriga Nusantara ask the FSC to “publicly recognize the corporate links between Paper Excellence and APP and to take appropriate measures to also dissociate itself from Paper Excellence and of its affiliated companies,” including Resolute Forest Products and Domtar in Canada and the United States.

According to information collected by Greenpeace, Paper Excellence has grown considerably in recent years through major acquisitions in the forest products industry in North America and Europe.

According to Greenpeace, this company controlled by private capital of Asian origin now owns 42 pulp, paper and lumber mills in Canada, the United States and France that are certified to FSC standards in sustainable forestry .

In Canada alone, according to Greenpeace, “Paper Excellence is now present in five provinces and manages some 22 million hectares of forests, including approximately 7.3 million hectares in Quebec and Ontario which are certified [aux normes] of the FSC. »

Greenpeace also maintains that, since its acquisition of Resolute Forest Products at the beginning of the year, “Paper Excellence even sits on the board of directors of FSC Canada” through the seat previously occupied by Resolute.

However, still according to Greenpeace, “the FSC association policy prohibits companies linked to dissociated companies from obtaining its certification. This policy specifically includes parent companies, subsidiaries and sister companies.”

In the opinion of Shane Moffatt, campaign manager at Greenpeace Canada, the FSC must “recognize that Paper Excellence and Asia Pulp & Paper are inseparable entities. “He also has to make a decision: allow a multinational logging company to take over Canada’s forests or be honest with the public about what’s really going on.”

“To maintain its credibility, we expect the FSC to apply its own policies and dissociate itself from Paper Excellence,” says Timer Manurung, director of Auriga Nusantara.

“Just like people in Indonesia, Canadians deserve to know that Paper Excellence’s sister company, Asia Pulp & Paper, is one of the companies with the worst records when it comes to deforestation and contributing to fires of forest in our country. »

FSC: no link regarding control

Called to comment on these claims by Greenpeace Canada and Auriga Nusantara with regard to Paper Excellence, the CEO of the Canadian section of the FSC, François Dufresne, indicated to The Press that Paper Excellence’s situation was already the subject of “review on a regular basis” mainly because of its growth in the forest products industry.

But with regard to its links with Asia Pulp & Paper, and which would be sufficient reason for its exclusion from the FSC according to Greenpeace, François Dufresne indicates that “until now, [son organisation n’a] no majority ownership link found [de contrôle] between APP and Paper Excellence” which could justify special measures towards Paper Excellence and its subsidiaries in Canada.

“If Greenpeace has new information to communicate to us in this regard, we are obviously very interested in learning about it, as are our many members or interlocutors in the forestry sector,” indicated the CEO of FSC Canada.

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