Resolute Forest Products Lawsuits (re-alleged racketeering and defamation by environmental organisations, USA)
Canadian logging company Resolute Forest Products has filed two lawsuits against various Greenpeace entities, Stand. Earth (formerly known as "ForestEthics"), and some of these organisations' staff members in the United States and Canada. These lawsuits were brought in relation to the organisations' criticism of the environmental impact of Resolute Forest's logging practices in the Canadian boreal region and to their campaigns encouraging customers to hold Resolute to account for its unsustainable forestry practices. The environmental organisations being sued assert that the lawsuits are meritless and constitute "strategic lawsuits against public participation" ("SLAPP") meant to silence their criticisms. Following the filing of Resolute's lawsuits, Greenpeace launched a campaign aiming to stop the use of SLAPPs to silence free speech. As part of this campaign, Greenpeace has received support from over 100 authors in several countries.
After NRDC released powerful evidence of continued logging in boreal forest areas that were placed under a logging moratorium via the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), Resolute Forest Products came back with a media statement that underscored governments’ role in regulating forest clearcutting. "It’s the Quebec government that gives companies permission to go and harvest on these lands," said company spokesperson Karl Blackburn. “We do not go where we want. We go where the government allows us to go."
Rainforest Alliance has extended the suspension period of the Resolute Forest Products certificate for PF Résolu Canada Inc. in Lac St-Jean Quebec by one year. The extended suspension will provide additional time to Resolute to resolve its’ past discrepancies. For the certificate to be re-instated, Resolute must continuously conform to the FSC criteria and their current outstanding non-conformities must be audited as closed. If these terms are not met by the end of the suspension period, Rainforest Alliance will terminate FSC’s certificate agreement for Lac St-Jean Quebec.
A meeting between the International Board of Directors of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) acknowledged positive signs shown by Resolute Forest Products (Resolute FP). The meeting was held in response to an open letter from FSC to Resolute FP requesting they stopped discriminatory activities against FSC and demonstrate respect to their requirements after repeated public attacks by Resolute FP on FSC’s management policies. These attacks followed the suspension of three of Resolute FP’s FSC certificates. The meeting proved to be constructive and the two parties agreed to continue to work together to help the restoration of the suspended certificates.
Canada’s Resolute Forest Products have had 3 of its forest management certificates suspended following complaints filed by the Grand Council of the Crees; the representing body of the First nations communities, as well as Greenpeace. The certificate suspension is due to the company failing to meet various FSC requirements including the protection of high conservation values and support from stakeholders for its operation. The suspended forest management certificates mean that Resolute can no longer label their pulp, paper and wood products as FSC-certified.