We work and live and help grow businesses in Canada, the United States and South Korea, and we bring forest products to markets around the world in a responsible, ethical, and sustainable way.
We are one of the largest holders of sustainable forest management certifications globally, and every one of the millions of hectares/acres of land we manage in Canada are certified as sustainable or responsible by one or more independent and internationally recognized standards.
We have deep roots in Canada’s Boreal, and we know it is one of the world’s best managed forests — a fact recognized by researchers at prestigious institutions like Yale University and independent forestry experts like Europe’s Indufor Oy.
It is our very commitment to responsible forestry—and to our integrity as a business—that obliges us to stand up against irresponsible accusations and unethical demands.
And that is what we have been doing for over two years now, in response to a carefully planned series of attacks and threats by activists at Greenpeace and other like-minded groups — attacks founded on ulterior financial motives, hidden deals, and a near total lack of transparency or accountability.
It’s one thing for activist groups to participate in the discourse on the future of sustainable forest management practices in the Boreal. But it’s quite another thing to abandon any possibility of collaboration and brazenly threaten us and our customers with a campaign of misinformation that has no basis in fact.
Yet it seems that Greenpeace and its allies have opportunistically seized on a small number of complex technical issues—including matters that are beyond our control and that have nothing to do with our on-the-ground practices—to insinuate that our sustainability practices have in some way changed or regressed, when in fact we are global leaders. In other cases, they have simply invented or sensationalized facts, using innuendo to unethically threaten and strong-arm customers.
One of our indirect customers recently wrote us to say that though the “complexity of the issues” rendered them “not able to determine whether or not Resolute is in compliance with our [sustainability] policy,” the “continued controversy surrounding your company” and the “ongoing dispute between Resolute, Greenpeace and other NGOs” was reason enough to justify entering an agreement with Greenpeace to discontinue their business with us. We have even heard that one customer, in response to pressure from Greenpeace, expressed the feeling of having a “gun to his head”.
Translation: empirical metrics and the reality on the ground don’t matter. All that counts are the threats of becoming a target of an activist campaign. That is reckless and irresponsible in several key ways. No specific violations are raised, and thus no constructive recommendations of what could be done to address them. The threat of continued harassment alone sets the policy, reducing what ought to be a reasonable, accountable public discussion into a kind of thuggery.
It would be one thing if the only harm done were to business relationships. But Greenpeace’s unfounded attacks are hurting Boreal communities, including many First Nations and other local communities in northern Ontario and Quebec. These communities depend on the forest for their livelihoods and any discussion of its management must involve them. Under the pretext of caring about the Boreal, Greenpeace is imperiling the people who call it home.
Many people representing these communities have written to Greenpeace to voice their concerns about the potential consequences of their campaigning. Greenpeace has in nearly every case lacked the simple integrity to respond. Indeed, we hear from many of them that Greenpeace has never even visited their communities.
Take a moment to pause and think about that. The multi-million dollar fundraising giant Greenpeace, currently dictating terms that will have profound negative effects on these communities, can’t even be bothered to visit them. Isn’t that exactly the kind of imperialism that those groups used to denounce?
Sadly, these tactics are consistent with Greenpeace’s reputation for disregarding the culture and practices of the communities where they wreak havoc, and with their deteriorating image around the globe. Consider, in just the past few years alone, Greenpeace is reported to have hired “vandals” to destroy farmers’ crops in Thailand; dropped a “smoke bomb” onto a French nuclear reactor in a “mock terror attack”; were accused of “burglary, vandalism, trespassing and inducing panic” in Cincinnati; drew criticism for paying for a top executive to commute to work by jet; lost more than $5 million from risky currency speculation; were cited by the Indian government for “financial fraud and falsification of data”; were labeled part of a “growing security threat” by national law enforcement in Canada; and are under investigation by the Peruvian government after admitting to irreparably damaging the historic Nazca line.
Engaging with an organization with this kind of track record isn’t just unwise, it’s flatly unethical by any reasonable standard of business practice.
Resolute has a strong track record when it comes to sustainability, from responsible forest management; world-leading GHG reductions; world-class health and safety performance; progressive, innovative commercial partnerships with First Nations communities; and even to the transparency in our sustainability reporting. Our sustainability leadership has been recognized by respected organizations from Canada’s Clean 50 to Ethical Corporation. Increasingly, we are receiving accolades for our sustainability achievements in the business community, by our colleagues in the forest products industry as well as outside it, and in North America as well as beyond. Sustainability is front and center in our corporate culture and is integral to the way we do business every day. We’re immensely proud of how far we’ve come.
We’re ready and willing to defend our reputation. After all, this doesn’t just affect us – there are thousands of jobs at stake and the socio-economic health of countless communities are held in the balance.
We have every confidence that when the public—and the courts—are armed with the facts, they’ll see Greenpeace’s empty smear campaign for what it is.
We are Resolute. And we are resolved.