MONTREAL - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today celebrated the planting of one billion trees at its forestry operations in northern Ontario. This achievement is the result of collective efforts made over the past 30 years by the Company, its employees, numerous contractors and suppliers, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
To mark the occasion, two-meter tall white spruce trees were planted simultaneously near three of the Company's mill sites in the province - at Fort Frances, Iroquois Falls, and Thunder Bay. Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Michael Gravelle, as well as Member of Provincial Parliament Bill Mauro were present at the Thunder Bay site. Many community and Aboriginal leaders also attended each of the ceremonies.
"This planting ceremony speaks to our long, successful and proud Company history in northern Ontario and our unwavering commitment to forest renewal and sustainable forestry," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolute. "Forests are among the world's only renewable resources. We are fortunate to be involved in an industry that is truly sustainable."
The planting of one billion trees represents more than five million hours of actual planting, and does not include the countless hours spent by cone collectors, nursery workers, transportation companies, site preparation operators, and resource professionals, all of whose skills are invaluable throughout the process.
Minister Gravelle stated: "I would like to extend my congratulations to Resolute Forest Products and all parties involved in this accomplishment. Milestones such as these are a testament to the partnerships we have forged in our working forests and our commitment to the sustainability of the natural resources in our care."
Although forests can regenerate themselves through natural processes, tree planting and other techniques such as aerial seeding are an important part of a successful forest management program and ensure the renewal of the softwood forests so critical to the lumber, pulp and paper businesses.
Resolute manages approximately 4.5 million hectares of Crown and private lands in Ontario. One hundred percent of the lands managed by Resolute in Canada are certified to internationally-recognized sustainable forest management (SFM) standards, with 51% also now certified under Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) standards.
In June of this year, Resolute became the largest manager of FSC-certified forests in the world. "For Resolute, attaining this level of certification to the rigorous FSC standards is an integral part of both our commitment to sustainable forestry and to meeting the commercial needs of our customers who are increasingly requesting such certification," added Mr. Garneau.
Source: Resolute Forest Products
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