From Stem To Market: An Unequivocal Commitment To The Principles Of FSC
Domtar Inc., based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is the third largest producer of uncoated free-sheet paper in North America. It is also a leading manufacturer of business papers, commercial printing and publication papers, and technical and specialty papers. What sets Domtar apart from the crowd, however, is their holistic commitment to producing environmentally and socially responsible, FSC-certified papers, all the way from stem to the market.
Domtar owns a total of 455,000 acres of forestland in Canada, of which 75,000 acres are currently under FSC forest management certification. The remaining 380,000 acres are currently under assessment, which is expected to be complete by the end of this summer.
In addition to those lands that they own, another 6.5 million acres of public lands are licensed to be managed directly or cooperatively by Domtar. These lands are also currently under assessment, also expected to be complete by the end of this summer. An additional 15 million acres will go under assessment between the end of 2005 and 2006.
If all lands pass the assessment phase, there is potential to have a total of nearly 22 million acres of lands under Domtar’s management as FSC-certified.
On the manufacturing side, Domtar operates 11 pulp and paper mills across North America, and they have made a public commitment to seek FSC chain-of-custody (COC) certification for each of these mills. Currently, 10 of the 11 maintain COC certification.
The next step in the “supply chain” of the paper industry is distribution. Domtar owns their own distribution chains, also known as paper merchants. Each of these (Buntin-Reid in Canada, and Ris Paper in the U.S.) also has COC certification. Through these merchants, Domtar can therefore get FSC-certified papers into the market directly with chain-of-custody in tact, all the way from having managed the forest to manufacturing the pulp and paper, and delivering it to the marketplace.
In addition to their own manufactured pulp, Domtar purchases pulp from other suppliers. With an ultimate goal of having FSC certification for every Domtar product, Domtar is working with other pulp suppliers in their network to seek FSC certification as well.
Currently, each of the 14 products, both coated and uncoated, in Domtar’s “EarthChoice” brand is FSC-certified. This commitment has made it possible for any business to satisfy all of its paper needs through a single line of products — from letterhead and business cards, to papers appropriate for annual reports, magazines and other marketing materials.
Recently, famed record album cover artist Gary Burden collaborated with Insync Media, an Inglewood, California based printer with chain-of-custody certification, to make the peace, love and rock ‘n’ roll come alive on FSC-certified Domtar EarthChoice papers. Burden has re-imagined 14 of his best-known album covers — including The Eagles “Desperado”, The Doors’ “Morrison Hotel”, Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Déjá Vu” — to demonstrate the quality that can now be achieved with socially and environmentally responsible papers and printing processes. An exhibit featuring wall posters of the album covers was unveiled this May at the legendary Whisky A Go-Go nightclub in Hollywood, and will travel to Chicago, Dallas, New York and Toronto later this year. In addition to the wall posters, Burden has created a companion brochure that will showcase the album covers on different EarthChoice papers.
When asked why Domtar first chose to seek FSC certification, William George, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications for Domtar, said that they, “thought it was good social license to operate because of the system’s inclusiveness.” He also noted that because of FSC’s call for input from stakeholders, it allowed them to have an open dialogue with First Nations, an organization that represents the interests of native peoples in Canada, and is very active in forest management issues. George also believes that, “although the [FSC forest management] standard required us to cut less logs in the beginning, it will allow us to be more effective over time.” Domtar was also interested in FSC certification because of market opportunities. George stated that, “if properly done, FSC is the standard that can best resonate with consumers.”
Domtar sold 30,000 tons of FSC-certified products in 2004, and has already doubled that this year. Due to increased marketing efforts around the Earthchoice line, their goal is to sell 200-300,000 tons of FSC-certified products be the end of 2006.
Domtar’s driving force behind their certified product is that they still view FSC as a great business opportunity. For example, George stated that their FSC-certified products has allowed Domtar to have “direct access to and engage in dialogue with new, large corporate end-users that we normally wouldn’t have access too. They view it as a way of protecting their corporate reputation.”
For more information about Domtar, please visit www.domtar.com
This article is part of the following newsletter: August 2005
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