A new pulp and paper sourcing policy, aimed at protecting forests and respecting human rights, announced Thursday by 3M in collaboration with the environmental group ForestEthics, could have implications for industry giant Resolute Forest Products.
Under the revised strategy, the maker of Post-it® notes will only accept materials made from virgin fibre that can be traced to the forest source and proven to be obtained legally. Suppliers must also protect high carbon stock forest, high conservation values, and workers’ and indigenous peoples’ rights.
3M has put Resolute on notice over its relationship with First Nations, and its logging of caribou habitat, said ForestEthics executive director Todd Paglia.
“We hope that 3M is able to encourage them to come back to the table and do the right thing both for their business and for forests because more and more brands are feeling that Resolute is radioactive,” said Paglia.
American-based electronics retailer, Best Buy, announced in December 2014 that it would be requiring companies, including Resolute, to provide paper from operations certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. It said it intended to increase the number of vendors it relies on, and would “meaningfully shift business” away from Resolute, its current primary supplier.
3M is not engaging in any new business with Resolute.
Resolute does not comment on its relationship with its business clients, said the company’s vice president for communications, sustainability and government affairs.
But sustainability, including enhancing relationships with communities and First Nations, has become one of the company’s key characteristics over the past five years, said Seth Kursman.
“We meet not only the letter and the spirit of the law, but in many cases we exceed it. We have truly defined the company as a sustainability leader,” said Kursman.
Last month, Resolute signed a Memorandum of Agreement with six northwestern Ontario First Nations that sets out a framework for negotiating business agreements related to the company’s sawmill investments in the region.
In 2014, Corporate Knights named Resolute one of the best 50 corporate citizens, and CEO Richard Garneau was named to Canada’s Clean 50 list by the Delta Management Group.