2018 Sustainability Report Material Issues

Priority Issues

Responsible attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues has long been a part of the Company’s strategic and business considerations. West Fraser regularly engages with various stakeholders such as customers, employees, investors, suppliers, trade associations, governmental representatives, regulatory authorities and nongovernmental organizations on these matters. As new ESG issues emerge and existing ones change in importance, they are incorporated into our strategy.

West Fraser defines priority sustainability issues as those that could have immediate and near-term relevance to West Fraser’s business success, social license, community relationships and operating performance. To efficiently allocate resources, access expertise and align with effective solutions, common issues are frequently addressed through corporate memberships in cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaborations and partnerships. Read more about West Fraser’s sector, industry and association partnerships.

In response to increased stakeholder awareness and interest in ESG issues, West Fraser assessed its existing priorities against a review of external resources and sector research. Trends across the forest sector, other natural resource development companies, ongoing customer and community feedback were also incorporated into this review. Subsequently,  ESG priorities were validated through an internal survey with the executive management team. In early 2020 an initial list of more than 50 ESG topics was identified to guide the 2019 reporting. These topics were prioritized by the executive management team to fine-tune the Company’s sustainability reporting approach.

Many aspects of the sustainability issues facing our Company, including forest stewardship, land use and management, biodiversity, recruitment, efficient manufacturing and safety are broadly shared in the sector and with other industrial resource development companies. 

Most of the Company’s priority ESG topics are consistent year over year, reflecting the nature of our business and operation of the assets and forests we manage. Emerging issues are identified and reflected in the resulting sustainability reporting presented here.

Our Board, particularly the Environmental, Health & Safety Committee, together with our Executive and our Senior Leadership Team, set the policy and manage the practice of our environmental, social and governance activity within our business.
 

priority ISSUES

 

Timber & Forests

Climate ChangeThe opportunity to contribute to climate change mitigation by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) in forests, storing it in the products we make, generating renewable energy and providing renewable alternatives to carbon-intensive materials.
Responsible Timber SourcingResponsibly and ethically sourcing our fibre supply and certification
Ecosystem-Based Sustainable ForestryResponsibly manage forests entrusted to our forest management planning and working collaboratively with stakeholders to balance values in the forest (ecological, cultural, recreational, economic) and how we contribute to renewing healthy, resilient forests through regeneration, reforestation and carbon sequestration
Wildlife, Habitat Management & BiodiversityHow we can accommodate plants, soils, and animals thriving in forest ecosystems

 

Employees & Community

SafetyProviding a safe workplace for employees, contractors and people at our operating sites
Our EmployeesEmployees engaged and passionate about our business
Equal OpportunityBe a workplace that provides equal opportunities for employees to develop to their potential
Employee Development & TrainingProvide training and opportunities to develop our workforce and promote from within to build our leadership team
Human RightsCommitted to continual improvement of our human rights standards and practices
Local CommunitiesSupport strong relationships and economic opportunity in the regions where we operate
Indigenous PeoplesBuild and sustain respectful, long-term, mutually beneficial working relationships with the Indigenous communities located near the areas in which we operate

 

Environmental & Manufacturing Efficiency

Reduce and, where possible, eliminate waste or harmful effects our operations may have on the environment

GHGs & Air EmissionsReduce pollutants, CO2, and manage air emissions emitted from our operations
EnergyImprove the efficiently of our manufacturing process to reduce energy use
WaterManage water resources responsibly
Waste and Material EfficiencyExplore opportunities to fully utilize manufacturing residuals and recover resources from our operations and reduce and, where possible, eliminate waste from our operations
Product Quality & Life CycleContinual process improvements to improve the quality and efficiency of our products and maintain high standards for product safety
Supply ChainImprove the efficiency, transparency and responsibility of our entire supply chain