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Domtar commits to new FSC standard for forests supplying Dryden mill


October 23, 2019
By P&PC Staff

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Domtar Corporation has pledged to pursue new Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards for the Canadian government lands that the company manages in the Wabigoon forest and Trout Lake forest, which supply fibre to its pulp and paper mill in Dryden, Ontario.

FSC launched a comprehensive new standard for responsible forest management in Canada in June. The updated standard consolidates what were four existing regional standards into one for the country. Recommendations range from physical solutions, such as buffer zones around waterways, to social ones, regarding gender equity and engagement with Indigenous communities.

“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,” says Paige Goff, vice president of sustainability at Domtar, in a release.

Domtar says it remains committed to FSC and independent certification of forest management in the areas where the company operates, particularly the forests that supply the Dryden Mill in Ontario – the Wabigoon and Trout Lake Sustainable Forest Licences.

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

Applying a new FSC standard requires time to interpret and operationalize the nuances of the recommendations on the ground. This transparent process involves multiple stakeholders, which is why the timeline stretches to 2020 and 2021.

Because the Wabigoon is already certified under the current FSC standard, it will be audited sooner. The company plans to have the area audited in the first half of 2020 and the certification completed before the end of next year.

The Trout Lake forest area requires a full certification audit, to ensure that Domtar’s management meets all of the rigorous principles of the new standard and to allow for collaboration with stakeholders and Indigenous communities. The certification work is currently anticipated to be finished during the first half of 2021.