Working effectively with our stakeholders is key to our success, and embedded in our operating approach. Since the early days of our Company, a foundational goal of West Fraser has been to develop and maintain responsibility in the communities in which we work.
Stakeholders of our company include:
- Our employees and their unions
- Local communities
- Indigenous Peoples
- Recreational groups
- Overlapping tenure holders (trappers, ranchers, other resource extractors such as mining)
- Forest landowners, Contractors, Partners and Suppliers
- Investors and Shareholders
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs & ENGOs, such as research institutions and environmental organizations)
- In 2016, approximately 33% of our employees were covered by collective agreements.
- In 2017, approximately 34% of our employees were covered by collective agreements.
We consider our stakeholders to be people and groups who are directly affected by our business, including those that are geographically close to, or directly involved in our operational activities; and those people or groups that can have an influence on or are a consideration in the business decisions made by West Fraser.
Stakeholder engagement and consultation is embedded in our forest management planning process through our sustainable forest management and fibre sourcing certifications. Identification and consultation with stakeholders is also required by Canadian law to meet the standards and provincial regulations governing the permitting and approval of harvesting and forest management planning on public lands.
Our stakeholder relations activity takes place through formal and informal feedback opportunities throughout the year. It may be associated with critical business activities, such as permit approval processes, or through community or business events and presentations. Every year we actively consult our stakeholders through meetings, conferences, fairs, community events, public hearings and open house events. We also seek or receive feedback through industry association surveys and inquiries from members of our stakeholder communities.
In Western Canada where we manage forest lands under government licences, we also coordinate public and community consultation within the regulated process for forest management approvals. We are guided in these consultations by the requirements of provincial regulations, as well as our Company Code of Conduct and our approach to engaging Indigenous Peoples. Our forestry planning documents are made publicly available for review so individuals or groups can provide feedback directly to our forestry planning teams.
Public and stakeholder consultation and accommodation where we manage forest lands is related to important forest values. Consultation topic areas include special measures to protect biodiversity, wildlife and fish habitat, conservation objectives, recreation activity, visual expectations, roads and transportation, cultural and traditional use, economic opportunity, reforestation, soils, water and community watersheds. Consultations and stakeholder input are conducted during the development, approval and implementation of our forest management plans.
Beyond government approvals, our forestry plans incorporate additional criteria and stakeholder engagement requirements in our third-party sustainable forest management standards and as well as community-specific agreements that may have been developed to address specific stakeholder groups and organizations objectives where our forest management activities take place. We also participate in local and regional multi-stakeholder air quality management processes in many communities where our manufacturing facilities are located.
Examples of how we approach, incorporate and engage stakeholders interests and address their concerns about our activities are shared on our website, see our Stories of Responsibility and our Public Involvement pages.