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Domtar holds itself to a new standard

Pulp and paper maker adopting new sustainability rules on northwest Crown forests
Domtar - Dryden mill (3)
Domtar's Dryden mill (File photo)

A new standard on responsible forest management will be applied to two northwestern Ontario forests.

Pulp and paper maker Domtar announced Oct.22 of its commitment to pursue new Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards for the two Crown forests that feeds its Dryden pulp mill.

Domtar said it remains committed to the independent certification – through FSC – of the forests that supply the Dryden mill, namely the Wabigoon and Trout Lake Sustainable Forest Licences.

FSC launched a new standard for responsible forest management in Canada in June. It incorporates caribou habitat protection, engagement with Indigenous people, worker rights (including gender equity), conservation and landscape management, such as buffer zones around waterways. Certificate holders have one year to make the transition starting in January 2020.

Wabigoon is already certified under the current FSC standard, so it will be audited sooner. The plan is to have the area audited in the first half of 2020 with the certification completed by year’s end.

The Trout Lake forest area requires a full certification audit. This work will be finished during the first half of 2021.

Domtar said the process involves consultation with multiple stakeholders, which is why the timeline stretches to 2020 and 2021. 

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international organization created to promote responsible management of the world's forests. Their criteria set the standard on which forest products as certified and labelled as eco-friendly.

“We are proud to continue our work in sustainable forestry, expanding our certification efforts to Trout Lake and also bringing the Wabigoon into certification to the new FSC standards,” said Paige Goff, Domtar’s vice-president of sustainability in a news release.

“FSC Canada applauds Domtar’s initiative to implement the new Forest Management Standard for responsible forestry on their forest management lands,” added FSC Canada president Francois Dufresne. “This commitment will help deliver critical solutions to 21st century forestry in Canadas.”

South Carolina-headquartered Domtar is a leading global producer of specialty papers, market pulp and absorbent hygiene products. Besides its Dryden operation, Domtar runs a specialty paper and pulp mill in Espanola, west of Sudbury.