For more than two years, Resolute has been defending itself against the false information spread by Greenpeace and recently has taken legal action. The misinformation shared by Greenpeace has harmed our Company and threatens the jobs of thousands of employees, as well as the social and economic well-being of many communities across Canada. This week, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled against Greenpeace, confirming that our full case has merit and will proceed through the judicial process.
Those who have been following the issue will recall that in 2012 Greenpeace issued a report called “A Greenpeace investigation in the Montagnes Blanches endangered forest.” It falsely stated that Resolute had developed roads in restricted areas; and that Resolute was secretly harvesting in violation of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Both of these claims about Resolute’s “destructive practices” were completely false.
Greenpeace acknowledged that its claims were untrue and issued a formal retraction in March 2013. This story was in fact covered in detail by the Huffington Post and others. The full text of the retraction can be found here. Greenpeace even pledged to remove the wrong information from their website and other materials. We accepted their retraction, and were prepared to move on, but a few months later, Greenpeace once again made a series of inaccurate and deceptive allegations.
We have worked for a decade to become a leader in sustainability – not just in our industry, but globally. In the decisions we make, we ensure we’re balancing our environmental, social and economic responsibilities – the three pillars of sustainability. To learn more, please read our annual report, which details our sustainable forest management practices, as well as our other ambitious sustainability commitments. We have healthy and productive partnerships with many First Nations, communities, and environmental groups, all of whom are counting on us to keep our promises. False information damages these relationships and harms an industry in which 600,000 Canadians make their living. Unfortunately, Greenpeace has persisted in promoting misinformation concerning Resolute, despite acknowledging further inaccuracies in their literature. The decision to proceed with legal action with respect to these false and misleading statements was not taken lightly.
We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to protect our own reputation and that of our valued employees, customers and partners. We have worked to correct misinformation and falsehoods concerning our operations.
We welcome a vibrant discussion about the health of the boreal forest and sustainable forestry practices. We want to make sure that each individual, whether they’re a part of a formal organization or not, has the chance to get their questions answered about how we live and work in the boreal. Here are just a few of the facts:
- Canada has a great track record when it comes to sustainable forest management – in fact, a Yale University study showed that Canada’s forestry laws and regulations are among the most stringent in the world;
- Every year, only about 0.2 percent of Canada’s boreal forest is affected by harvesting. In comparison, about 5 times that amount is disturbed annually by insects, forest fires or disease; and
- More than 40% of the boreal forest in Ontario and Quebec is off limits to the forest products industry, and more than 30% of the remaining areas have also been set aside for conservation.
Have a question? Please ask it in the comments below and we’ll answer.