The Forest Stewardship Council wants Resolute Forest Products to stop attacking the credibility of its audit process.
In a letter to Resolute president Richard Garneau, FSC has requested that the company stop its “activities against FSC.”
The letter follows many months of repeated public attacks by Resolute on FSC’s management and policies, after the suspension of Resolute’s FSC certificates, the council says.
In the letter, FSC director general Kim Carstensen cites a number of Resolute press releases and comments by company officials that attack the governance of FSC and the audit process’s fairness and impartiality, and portray the FSC as non-credible, risky and biased towards certain interest groups. The letter also took issue with Resolute insinuations that the suspensions of the company’s FSC certificates were tainted from improper pressure from Greenpeace.
“Together, these incidents can no longer be tolerated,” Carstensen says in the letter.
Resolute spokesman Seth Kursman could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
In February, Resolute Forest Products reached a truce with the Rainforest Alliance, a third-party group that conducts audits of compliance with Forest Stewardship Council standards.
The Montreal-based company settled a lawsuit it filed last May that sought $400,000 in damages over audits of its forests in Northern Ontario.
The company claimed last year’s audits that resulted in the suspension of FSC certificates in two forests were biased interpretations that contained errors and omissions.
Under terms of the settlement, a new independent audit team will conduct a fresh review of the Black Spruce-Dog River Matawin forest near Thunder Bay within six months. A summary of the report findings will be released publicly, unlike those of the contested audits that have been sealed by an Ontario court judge.