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Marlboro Mill Demonstrates Forest Stewardship in Action for USDA

USDA-APHIS officials saw forest stewardship in action at our Marlboro Mill.

Domtar joins many other friends of the forest in commemorating the Forest Stewardship Council®’s (FSC) Forest Week and celebrating our favorite renewable resource.

We were the first North American company to commit to FSC certification, and we have remained a leader in sustainable forestry principles ever since producing our first ton of FSC-certified paper in 2002.

We support certification and other measures to ensure forest stewardship. These include the Lacey Act, which bans the importation of plants or plant products that have been illegally harvested, in line with the intent of the 2008 amendments.

Mill Visit Highlights Forest Stewardship

The Lacey Act amendments are an important tool to fight illegal logging and deforestation. However, Domtar and others in our industry want to ensure that the regulations do not result in costly and unrealistic reporting requirements for the identification of plant species.

To make clear some of the challenges, we invited officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to visit our Marlboro Mill in Bennettsville, S.C., and see how wood fiber is brought to the mill and processed each day.

Domtar colleagues in procurement, forestry, international trade and mill operations spoke to visitors about how we enable and support customers as they exercise of their “due-care” obligation under the Lacey Act. We provide tools to verify our existing processes, which give them confidence in the products they purchase from us.

At the mill, visitors saw how wood is brought in on trucks, how chips are processed into pulp and how that pulp is made into paper. Seeing the process first-hand helps visitors understand the challenges of species identification and reporting, says Kevin Belanger, Domtar’s vice president for wood fiber procurement.

“Because we source fiber regionally, we are able to identify easily what species of wood are not in our fiber mix, but differentiating the species within the chip pile is practically impossible,” he says.

Certification Helps Ensure Sustainability

All of Domtar’s pulp and paper facilities are certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), and/or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

The forestland that Domtar owns and manages in Canada is certified to the rigorous FSC and SFI standards. Where available, Domtar prefers purchasing FSC-certified fiber.

“FSC certification, in addition to SFI, PEFC and American Tree Farm System standards, helps us ensure we’re fulfilling our commitment to sustainability and gives our customers confidence,” says Luke Dillinger, Domtar’s manager for wood procurement and forest certification, who also has served on the board of the Forest Stewardship Council.

He continues, “We are proud of our forest stewardship and are eager to show industry colleagues and government representatives our efforts to not only comply with regulations but also to promote sustainable forestry in all that we do.”

Domtar was pleased to host USDA-APHIS officials and AF&PA representatives at our Marlboro Mill on September 14, 2022 and share with them our forest stewardship practices.

Learn more about Domtar’s forest stewardship practices: