AbitibiBowater Achieves 100% Forest Certification - Continues Broad-ranging Efforts in Sustainability
ABH (NYSE, TSX) MONTREAL, Feb. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - AbitibiBowater announced today that approximately 258,800 hectares of woodlands near Maniwaki, Quebec, have received certification under the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Standard of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), based on a third-party audit conducted by the Quality Management Institute (QMI) late last year. This development represents the fulfillment of the Company's commitment to certify the sustainability of 100% of its managed woodlands operations to independent, internationally recognized standards. AbitibiBowater has an inclusive certification policy that recognizes the predominant forest certification systems in use in North America: the CSA, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) standards. The Company continues to advance in the process of certifying three operations to FSC in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. "Achieving certification for 100% of our managed woodlands is a major milestone for AbitibiBowater, which underlines our commitment to implementing sustainable business practices throughout our operations," said David J. Paterson, President and Chief Executive Officer. Certification under an SFM standard demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement in forest management performance. The certification process requires independent experts to audit a company's performance against a set of objective standards and procedures for sustainability. Currently, only 10% of the world's forests are certified to an SFM standard. In 2008, AbitibiBowater made significant achievements in improving the sustainability of its practices and enhancing environmental performance. In addition to achieving full sustainable forestry certification, the Company:- Made headway towards operating as a carbon-neutral enterprise. In 2008, versus a 2000 baseline, AbitibiBowater reduced global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 53% (absolute) and 32% on a per-ton basis (intensity). This significant reduction was supported by using less fossil fuels, increasing energy efficiency and expanding the use of green biomass energy. - Launched new products, such as its breakthrough 90 brightness ECOPAQUE ™ offset and laser paper, which is manufactured using 50% fewer trees, and significantly less water and energy than traditional offset papers.These 2008 achievements will be put into global perspective in the Company's first sustainability report, due later this year. "Today's announcement is one of many important steps on the way as we strive to operate as a sustainable forest products company and be the wise choice for environmentally sensitive customers," added David Paterson. AbitibiBowater produces a wide range of newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. It is the eighth largest publicly traded pulp and paper manufacturer in the world. AbitibiBowater owns or operates 25 pulp and paper facilities and 30 wood products facilities located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Korea. Marketing its products in more than 90 countries, the Company is also among the world's largest recyclers of old newspapers and magazines, and has third-party certified 100% of its woodlands to sustainable forest management standards. AbitibiBowater's shares trade under the stock symbol ABH on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.