What is Resolute Forest Products?
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products, newsprint and specialty papers. The company owns or operates over 40 pulp, paper, tissue and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, as well as power generation assets in Canada and the United States. Marketing its products in close to 80 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Resolute is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
Why is Resolute Suing Greenpeace and STAND (formerly ForestEthics)?
Our lawsuit arises from, among other things, Greenpeace’s self-described “Resolute: Forest Destroyer” campaign falsely accusing Resolute of, among other things: (a) “destroying endangered forests,” and “operating and sourcing wood . . . in violation of law”; (b) causing the “destruction of endangered species” and “critical caribou habitat” and risking a “Caribou Herd Death Spiral,” “extirpation” and “extinction;” (c) “abandoning” and “impoverishing” the Boreal’s indigenous communities; and (d) impairing the Boreal’s ability to mitigate climate change.
The complaint describes in detail the falsity of these and other malicious and defamatory accusations. Among other things, the complaint explains that far from being a “forest destroyer,” Resolute has planted well over a billion trees in the Boreal – which is a billion more than Greenpeace – and is responsible for virtually no permanent lost forest acreage. The complaint also demonstrates that Resolute also has not impaired the Boreal’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases, and, instead, has improved that ability through harvesting and forestation as recognized and encouraged by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Nor has Resolute abandoned, exploited or impoverished First Nations or other communities within the Boreal forest, but instead – and again unlike Greenpeace – has created and sustained substantial benefits for these peoples through shared economic participation in the forestry business. The complaint also details how, to support its false accusations, Greenpeace has fabricated evidence and events, including, for example, staged photos falsely purporting to show Resolute logging in prohibited areas and as having harvested areas that were actually cleared by fire.
As President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Garneau explained, "Our company strives for the highest standards of environmental stewardship, which is why the attacks on us are so obviously cynical and thoroughly irresponsible. We have an obligation to our business ethics, and our many shareholders, customers, partners and stakeholders to draw the line after all other means have been exhausted.”
What are the charges in the lawsuit?
The complaint alleges claims under federal and state RICO statutes and state law claims for defamation, tortious interference and trademark violations.
Why is this a RICO suit?
The complaint alleges various claims that our counsel believe are supported by the facts alleged; RICO is one of those claims. The best way to understand the basis for each claim would be to read the complaint, which we believe speaks for itself.
How do you respond to claims that you are trying to intimidate Greenpeace?
For years now, Greenpeace has attempted to intimidate and pressure Resolute and its customers with misrepresentations and other misconduct. We are not attempting to do any such thing. To the contrary, after enduring and attempting to resolve Greenpeace’s campaign, we are taking our case to court where a judge and jury can render a judgment on the legality of Greenpeace’s conduct and the harm it has caused. Greenpeace International raised €296 million (about $337 million at the current exchange rate) in 2014. Greenpeace has national or regional offices in 41 countries. Greenpeace owns and operates three multi-million dollar luxury yachts. It is a group that is not easily intimidated and which can readily defend its conduct in court.
What is Resolute seeking from the case?
Resolute is seeking compensatory damages in an amount to be proven at trial as well as treble and punitive damages.
Where is the lawsuit filed?
The case is before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.
Who is representing Resolute in this case?
Michael J. Bowe, a partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP.
What happens next?
The Greenpeace Enterprise has 30 days to respond to our complaint.
What is the media saying about this disinformation campaign?
Over the past year, the media has started to catch on to the falsehoods and misrepresentations that formed the basis of the campaign. Here’s a small sample:
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board (3/18/16):
No corporation could get away with the tactics employed by Greenpeace and stay in business, but the organization has managed to play by its own rules for years. Until now.
Amy Payne in National Review (4/20/16):
By standing up to Greenpeace, Resolute Forest Products is doing the world a favor. Juicy details about the group’s ridiculous antics would be a bonus. It’s inspiring to see a business fight back against the green bullies — to protect the truth, its employees, and its customers. Victims of Greenpeace’s false attacks should shout them down, loudly, for what they are.
The Globe and Mail (12/31/15):
Resolute can’t be blamed for doubting whether Greenpeace is really seeking solutions, or at least ones that it is prepared to live by for very long. That, after all, might hurt its fundraising.
Recently, one of Canada’s leading TV newsmagazines, Radio-Canada’s Enquête, spent months investigating the issues around Boreal forest management. After looking closely at the facts, the hour-long exposé that aired on March 24 highlighted a pattern of disinformation and misleading communications by Greenpeace.
What about Resolute's lawsuit against Greenpeace in Canada?
That lawsuit is ongoing and should be considered independent of this case.
Where can I learn more about Resolute's record on the environment?
The forests in which Resolute operates in Canada are, and international experts agree, some of the best-managed in the world, and the company has been recognized on a regional, North American and global basis for its leadership in sustainable forestry and reducing its carbon footprint, among other similar achievements. Learn more at www.resoluteforestproducts.com/Sustainability/.
Greenpeace International (a compilation of all GP organizations):
- 296 million Euros (about $337 million) total revenue and support (2014)
- 292.5 million Euros (about $332.8 million) total expenses (including fundraising) (2014)
- www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/greenpeace/2015/ANNUAL_REPORT_2014.pdf (p28)
Greenpeace owns and operates three multi-million dollar luxury yachts.
They are not intimidated – they have been fundraising off of their attacks on us.