Sustainable forest management brings long-term benefits

Domtar first to North American market with FSC certified line of copy paper

For decades, Domtar has committed to an industry-leading, holistic sustainable forest management model. This model is focused on ensuring quality forests, and protecting and supporting the people, plants and wildlife that live in and rely on these forests. Domtar has developed and evolved its sustainable forestry model in collaboration with leading environmental organizations, relying on the strictest third-party certification standards to ensure a responsible supply chain, measure progress, and ensure transparency.

Choosing a holistic approach to sustainable forest management

For Domtar, Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification, largely considered by leading environmental organizations to be the industry gold standard, has proven to be the best option for meeting its commercial needs for a continued supply of wood, while also ensuring sustainable forest management.

Domtar's business is designing, manufacturing, marketing and distributing a wide variety of fibre-based products including communications paper, specialty and packaging papers and absorbent hygiene products. The foundation of the business is a network of world class wood fibre converting assets that produce paper grade, fluff and specialty pulp. Clearly, for the business to prosper, a sustainable supply of wood is needed.

As a responsible business, Domtar wanted to play its part in a long term solution for the future of forests, not just reducing deforestation but helping forests by putting more in than taking out, thereby investing in future supply.

Third party forest certification has had the advantage of differentiating Domtar's products in an increasingly competitive marketplace as well as meeting the global consumer demand for sustainably sourced paper.

Continued supply of wood, core to Domtar's business

Domtar produces 4.1 million metric tons of hardwood, softwood and fluff pulp at 12 of its 13 mills. The majority of the pulp is consumed internally to manufacture paper and consumer products, with the balance being sold as market pulp. In order to meet the business' needs for reliable, economical and marketable sources of fibre, Domtar works together with a range of forest stakeholders and invests in forest management practices that focus on long term sustainability.

Domtar recognises that the best way to ensure that its forests, manufacturing and distribution operations are managed in a responsible manner is through third party certification. While Domtar has a stated preference for FSC where available, it also uses fibre from multiple certification schemes.

Launching FSC certified EarthChoice® Product Line

In 2002, Domtar became the first forest products company in North America to offer an FSC certified line of copy paper. Domtar's EarthChoice® Product Line includes the widest range of FSC certified paper on the North American market. Being first to market with such a line of copy paper was a successful move, with the company selling more than five million tons of FSC certified paper to date.

"Domtar is proud to have sold over five million tons of FSC certified paper, demonstrating what it takes to be a market leader in responsible forest practices. We're honored to be recognized as an organization that has made a significant contribution to the health of the world's forests, and will continue to raise the bar for the pulp and paper industry for years to come." said Paige Goff, vice president, Sustainability & Business Communications at Domtar.

Certification as a tool for sustainable forest management and transparency

As a large user of wood fibre, Domtar is keenly interested in the debate about the best way to maintain and preserve forests for generations to come. Sustainable forestry means more than simply replacing trees and requires preserving the ecological, economic and social functions of the forests. For this, Domtar found that forest certification, and in particular FSC certification, was the best route. To meet FSC, forest operations must meet rigorous environmental, social and economic requirements, as confirmed by independent third-party auditors.

In 2012 Domtar announced its aspirational goal to procure 100 percent of its fibre from sources that are certified to the FSC standard. In order to meet this goal, the company needed to invest in a new supply of certified fibre in North America.

Domtar partnered with small landowners across the United States and Canada to demonstrate the benefits of FSC certification for their forests to help increase the supply of certified fibre.

By investing time and money with landowners, Domtar has increased the number of sustainably managed forests across North America, thereby investing in the future of forests. So much so, that in 2014 Domtar was awarded the first-ever annual FSC Leadership Award for the paper sector. The award celebrated Domtar's innovative pursuit of FSC certification in North America and highlighted its commitment to maintaining forests for future generations.

"Domtar is a clear leader in the paper sector with its commitment to FSC-certified responsible forest management. Their work to grow the Four States Timberland Owners Association is a model that people are taking a close look at around the world to bring new FSC supply to the market. We applaud Domtar for their leadership and commitment." said Corey Brinkema, President of the Forest Stewardship Council US.

Meeting global consumer demand

The global demand for paper-based products continues to grow. The challenge, therefore, is not only to meet the volume demand for paper but to do so while protecting natural forests.

Consumers are increasingly expecting manufacturers to source in a sustainable manner and the success of Domtar's EarthChoice line shows there is a demand for sustainably sourced paper. The EarthChoice line helps meet companies' own sustainable sourcing goals by ensuring the paper is manufactured to the highest ethical and environmental standards.

In the future, Domtar aims to increase its supply of certified fibre by remaining committed to implementing and maintaining third party certification. As well as being necessary to ensure a reliable supply of raw materials, Domtar believes that a commitment to third-party certification, and FSC in particular, is the most holistic and meaningful solution to sustainable forestry management.

Originally published 2014