GRI Standards Index

West Fraser 2019 Responsibility Report Summar

2019 GRI Content Index

This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option. For the first time, our report is further indexed to the Sustainable Accounting Board Standards (SASB) (see the 2019 SASB Index). West Fraser is primarily classified by SASB in SICS Consumer Goods Sector “Building Products & Furnishings.” Information relevant to Canadian operations under SICS General Issue Categories for Forest Management and Pulp and Paper Products, are also identified in the SASB standards index for this report.

The 2019 Responsibility Report covers sustainability data for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2019 for all of West Fraser’s managed operations (as detailed in the 2019 Annual Report, page 7). Please contact [email protected] for more information about topics covered in this report.


2019 GRI Content INDEX

102 - Organizational Profile


Name of the organization

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (“West Fraser”)


Activities, brands, products, and services

West Fraser is a North American, diversified wood products company which produces lumber (spruce, pine and fir — “SPF”) and southern yellow pine (“SYP”). The company also produces panels (plywoodMDF), engineered wood products (LVL), pulp & paper (NBSK and BCTMP), newsprint, wood chips, other residuals and energy.

Our operations in western Canada manufacture all of the company’s products, except southern yellow pine lumber, while our mills in the southern United States produce SYP lumber and wood chips.


Location of headquarters

Locations2019 Annual Report


Location of operations



Ownership and legal form

West Fraser is a publicly traded company with shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: “WFT”.

West Fraser’s Certificate of Incorporation was filed with the Government of the Province of British Columbia April 29, 1954 and was most recently amended, restated and filed May 1, 2014.

Articles of Incorporation


Markets served

Organizational Profile

2019 Annual Report: Markets


Scale of the organization

Organizational Profile

2019 Annual Report


Information on employees and other workers

Employees & Community

2019 Annual Report: Human Resources


Supply chain

Organizational Profile

2019 Annual Report: Business Overview

Contractors are subject to our Environmental PolicySafety Policy and Fiber Sourcing requirements. 

When working on behalf of West Fraser, contractors, consultants, agents and anyone else are also required to comply with our Code of Conduct when acting on West Fraser’s or its subsidiaries’ behalf.


Significant changes to the organization and its supply chain

2019 Annual Report: MD&A


Precautionary Principle or approach

Organizational Profile, climate change

Environmental PolicyEnvironment and  Product Certifications


External initiatives

Organizational Profile


Membership of associations

Organizational Profile



Statement from senior decision-maker

2019 Responsibility Report summary, page 4



Key impacts, risks, and opportunities

2019 Annual Report: External Factors Affecting West Fraser’s Business  and MD&A



Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior

Corporate Governance Policy and Code of Conduct



Mechanisms for advice and concerns about ethics

Code of Conduct

Corporate Governance PolicyShareholder feedback

102 - Governance



Governance structure

2019 Annual Report: Governance

Corporate Governance Policy



Delegating authority

Corporate Governance Policy



Executive-level responsibility for economic, environmental, and social topics

West Fraser’s executive team has responsibility for one or more sustainability areas, including environmental responsibility at manufacturing sites, safety, employee development, forest management activities, governance, financial performance and stakeholder engagement. See also climate change reporting for specirfic details on that topic.

Our Board, particularly the Health, Safety & Environmental committee, together with our executive and our senior leadership teams, set the policy and practice of our environmental, social and governance activities within our business and are responsible for monitoring our safety and environmental performance.


Consulting stakeholders on economic, environmental, and social topics


Shareholders may communicate directly with our Board and Directors as outlined in the 2020 Information Circular: Shareholder Feedback and Concerns

Community consultations where we manage forests are detailed in thie report in Local Communities and on our website Public Involvement page.


Composition of the highest governance body and its committees

Corporate Governance Policy

2020 Information Circular: Composition of the Board


Chair of the highest governance body

Chairman of the Board: Hank Ketcham


Nominating and selecting the highest governance body

2020 Information Circular: Board Renewal and Governance & Nominating


Conflicts of interest

Code of Conduct

2020 Information Circular: Serving on Other Boards


Role of highest governance body in setting purpose, values, and strategy

Corporate Governance Policy: Mandate of the Board of Directors

2020 Information Circular: Mandate of the Board


Collective knowledge of highest governance body

2020 Information Circular: Orientation Program and Continuing Education


Evaluating the highest governance body’s performance

2020 Information Circular: Expectations of Management and Performance Reviews


Identifying and managing economic, environmental, and social impacts

GovernanceHealth, Safety & Environmental committee and in Timber and Forests


Effectiveness of risk management processes

GovernanceAudit CommitteeHealth, Safety & Environmental committee


Review of economic, environmental, and social topics

GovernanceAudit CommitteeHealth, Safety & Environmental committee


Highest governance body’s role in sustainability reporting

The Board’s Health, Safety & Environmental committee is responsible for monitoring the Company’s environmental performance and environmental systems.

Our executive management team reviews and approves the annual Responsibility Report.


Communicating critical concerns

Code of Conduct sections 15. Compliance & Reporting and section 16. Whistleblower Protection


Remuneration policies

2020 Information Circular: Executive Compensation


Process for determining remuneration

2020 Information Circular:  Advisory Resolution on the Company’s Approach to Executive Compensation (Say On Pay) and Executive Compensation


Stakeholders’ involvement in remuneration

2020 Information Circular: Advisory Resolution on the Company’s Approach to Executive Compensation (Say On Pay)

102 - Stakeholders

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.


List of stakeholder groups



Collective bargaining agreements

In 2019, approximately 34% of our employees were covered by collective agreements.


Identifying and selecting stakeholders



Approach to stakeholder engagement

StakeholdersCode of ConductEngaging Indigenous Peoples

Community consultations where we manage forests are detailed in thie report throughout Forests & TimberLocal Communities and on our website Public Involvement page.


Key topics and concerns raised

StakeholdersStories of ResponsibilityPublic Involvement


Entities included in the consolidated financial statements

2019 Annual Report: Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Basis of Consolidation


Defining report content and topic Boundaries



List of material topics

Priority Issues

Operations & Value Chain

See the Operations & Value Chain page for more information.


Restatements of information

Where data has been restated, it is identified as such where it is presented. West Fraser has not sought external assurance for all of the data presented in this report.


Changes in reporting

Where data has been restated, it is identified as such where it is presented. West Fraser has not sought external assurance for all of the data presented in this report.


Reporting period

Fiscal year: January – December


Date of most recent report

September 2019


Reporting cycle



Contact point for questions regarding the report

Please contact: [email protected]


Claims of reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards

This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option


GRI content index

This page


External assurance

We have not sought external assurance for all discllosures in this report, but some data and information in this report has been subject to external auditing and verification.

103 Management Approach 


Explanation of the material topics and its Boundary

Priority Issues

201 - Economic Performance 


Direct economic value generated and distributed

2019 Annual Report: Annual Information Form and MD&A


Financial implications and other risks and opportunities due to climate change

See: climate change, also 2020 Information Circular, and 2019 Annual Report: MD&A, “Risks and Uncertainties”


Defined benefit plan obligations and other retirement plans

2019 Annual Report:  Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements


Financial assistance received from government

2019 Annual Report: Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Government Assistance

202 - Market Presence

See the Discover West Fraser pages within the Careers section on our website to learn more about our approach to recruitment and employment opportunity.


Ratios of standard entry level wage by gender compared to local minimum wage

Our Employees


Proportion of senior management hired from the local community

Our Employees

203 - Indirect Economic Impacts

See Community & Economic Impact for more information.


Infrastructure investments and services supported

Economic Impact

2019 Annual Report: Report to Shareholders


Significant indirect economic impacts

Economic Impact

204 - Procurement Practices

Our facilities are primarily located in rural communities in the United States and Canada, where our business relies on many local contractors, partners and suppliers to provide goods and services to our mills, most significantly, the log supply for our manufacturing operations.

Conflicts of interest in procurement are covered under our Code of Conduct Section 6. Conflicts of Interest and Corporate Opportunity.


Proportion of spending on local suppliers

Business Ethics

205 - Anti-Corruption

West Fraser obeys the anti-corruption laws in Canada and the United States, where we do business. See also our Code of Conduct Section 8. Offering or Accepting Gifts and Gratuities / Anti-Corruption


Operations assessed for risks related to corruption

West Fraser obeys the anti-corruption laws in Canada and the United States, where we do business. We conduct Bill 198 internal auditing and risk assessments regularly throughout our operations. Any relevant risks are disclosed in our regulatory filings.


Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures

All Directors, members of management and substantially all salaried employees periodically confirm compliance with the Code of Conduct. Instances of non-compliance are expected to be reported to our Board.


Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken

None to report. We disclose all material litigations and legal proceedings in our regulatory filings.

206 - Anti-Competitive Behavior

Our Code of Conduct Section 10. Competition and Fair Dealing affirms West Fraser’s long-standing policy that its directors, officers and employees conform to the highest legal, ethical and moral standards in conducting the respective businesses of West Fraser and its subsidiaries including adhering to the laws and regulations in Canada and the United States concerning unlawful activity. All individuals subject to the Code have a responsibility to respect these laws and behave accordingly by complying with our guidelines for behaviour.

We disclose all material litigation and legal proceedings in our regulatory filings.


Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices

2019 Annual Report: Softwood Lumber Dispute

301 - Materials

We utilize 99% of every log, and 95% of materials are purposefully reused


Materials used by weight or volume

The most significant material input to our company is wood fibre. Operating at the capacities described in our most recent annual report (2019):

  • Annual log requirements for our Canadian sawmills, plywood facilities and LVL plant  would total approximately 14 million m3
  • U.S. operations, which produce SYP lumber, would consume approximately 14 million tons of logs per year

More detail: Waste and Material Efficiency, also 2019 Annual Report: Fibre and Log Supply information


Recycled input materials used

Waste and Material Efficiency


Reclaimed products and their packaging materials

We manufacture renewable, sustainable products that may be reused, recycled or consumed for energy generation.

302 - Energy


Energy consumption within the organization



Energy consumption outside of the organization

We do not currently track this energy consumption.


Energy intensity



Reduction of energy consumption



Reduction of energy requirements of products and services


303 - Water Use

95% of the water we use in our pulp operations is returned to the environment.


Interactions with water as a shared resource

Water Use 


Management of water discharge-related impacts

Water Use


Water withdrawl

97.6 million m3, more: Water Use 

303-4Water discharge

93.0 million m3, more: Water Use 

303-5Water consumption

Process: 86.4 million m3, Cooling: 11.2 million m3.

More: Water Use 

304 – Biodiversity


Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas

Wildlife, Habitat Management & Biodiversity


Significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity


Wildlife, Habitat Management & Biodiversity


Habitats protected or restored

Wildlife, Habitat Management & Biodiversity


IUCN Red List species and national conservation list species with habitats in areas affected by operations

Wildlife, Habitat Management & Biodiversity

305 - Emissions


Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions

GHG's and Air Emissions


Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions

GHG's and Air Emissions


Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions

We do not currently track other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions.


GHG emissions intensity

GHG's and Air Emissions


Reduction of GHG emissions

GHG's and Air Emissions


Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

These are not material to our operations.


Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX), and other significant air emissions

GHG's and Air Emissions

306 - Waste

95% of waste materials are  recovered to make products or for other beneficial purposes, and 99% of every log is utilized. 


Waste generation and significant waste-related impacts

Waste and Material Efficiency


Management of significant waste-related impacts

Waste and Material Efficiency


Waste generated

11.3 million metric tonnes, more: Waste and Material Efficiency


Waste diverted from disposal

10.8 million metric tonnes, 95% of material generated. More: Waste and Material Efficiency


Waste directed to disposal

Less than 5% of waste is directed to final disposal. More: Waste and Material Efficiency

We use authorized service providers to dispose of our hazardous waste. All of our facilities are required to appropriately manifest and track all hazardous waste in accordance with governing federal, state and provincial legislation before it is transported from our operating sites.

307 - Environmental Compliance

See the Environmental Performance page for more information. Also see our Environmental Policy and Certification Programs.


Non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations

Environmental  Performance

308 - Supplier Environmental Assessment

See the Environmental Performance page for more information


New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria

Environmental Performance

401 - Employment


New employee hires and employee turnover

Our Employees


Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees

Our Employees


Parental leave

Our Employees

402 - Labor/Management Relations


Minimum notice periods regarding operational change

Our Employees

403 - Occupational Health and Safety

Our safety goal is to eliminate serious incidents and injuries. We have achieved a 30% lower medical incident rate (vs. 2016), and have set a target in 2020 to reduce the highest frequency serious injuries (hands and finger incidents) by 50%. Also see our Health and Safety Policy.


Occupational health and safety management system



Hazard identification, risk assessment, and incident investigation



Occupational Health Services



Worker participation, consultation, and communication on occupational health and safetySafety


Worker training on occupational health and safetySafety


Promotion of worker healthSafety


Workers covered by an occupational health and safety management system

The occupational health and safety statistics provided cover workers who are employees and contract workers who are not employees but whose work and/or workplace is controlled by West Fraser. More: Safety


Work-related injuries

30% reduction in injuries (MIR) since 2016. More reporting: Safety


Work-related ill healthSafety

404 - Training and Education

It is core to our company values to promote from within to build our leadership team. The overwhelming majority of our management and senior leadership teams are drawn from employees who have developed their talents and grown their career within West Fraser.


Average hours of training per year per employee

 Employee Development & Training


Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

Employee Development & Training


Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews

 Employee Development & Training

405 - Diversity and Equal Opportunity

We believe all individuals who have the necessary qualifications should have an equal opportunity to compete for employment and advancement. West Fraser set out a workforce diversity statement in 2019. Going forward, the Company plans to actively track and report on women’s development in workforce, in leadership (supervisory) roles, and in senior leadership roles.  See also Code of Conduct, section 5. Human Rights, Discrimination and Harassment.


Diversity of governance bodies and employees

 Equal Opportunity


Ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men

Equal Opportunity

406 - Non-Discrimination

See our Code of Conduct, section 5. Human Rights, Discrimination and Harassment.


Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken

Discrimination complaints are investigated by local management. 

407 - Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining


Operations and suppliers in which the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining may be at risk

West Fraser operates manufacturing facilities and contracts work with suppliers and contractors that are both union and non-union. We respect the rights of workers to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining.

West Fraser requires all suppliers and contractors to adhere to the human rights laws of the United States and Canada. Approximately 34% of our employees are covered by collective agreements. More: Equal Opportunity

408 - Child Labor


Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor

Not relevant to our operations, West Fraser requires all suppliers and contractors to adhere to the human rights laws of the United States and Canada. More: Equal Opportunity

409 - Forced or Compulsory Labor


Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor

Not relevant to our operations, West Fraser requires all suppliers and contractors to adhere to the human rights laws of the United States and Canada. More: Equal Opportunity

410 - Security Practices


Security personnel trained in human rights policies or procedure

Not relevant to our operations.

411 - Rights of Indigenous Peoples

We work with more than 100 Indigenous communities and organizations in Canada


Incidents of violations involving rights of indigenous peoples

Rights of Indigenous Peoples (included UNDRIP), Human Rights 

We disclose all material litigations and legal proceedings in our regulatory filings.  
2019 Annual Report: Aboriginal Matters, Community and Stakeholder Engagement

412 - Human Rights Assessment

We recognize our responsibility to respect human rights throughout our organization. Also see Code of Conduct, section 5. Human Rights, Discrimination and Harassment.


Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments

Human Rights 


Employee training on human rights policies or procedures

Our Code of Conduct, signed by our employees, outlines our commitment to human rights (defined by the laws of Canada and the United States).

All of our foresters receive training to meet the requirements of the Company’s forest management and sourcing certifications, which include human rights provisions.


Significant investment agreements and contracts that include human rights clauses or that underwent human rights screening

Human Rights 

413 - Local Communities 


Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs

Local Communities, see Forest Management Planning & Consultation in Ecosystem-Based Sustainable ForestryRights of Indigenous Peoples and Social Responsibility

415 - Public Policy


Political contributions

No contributions in 2019, see Public Policy section in Business Ethics.

416 - Customer Health and Safety


Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories

Product Quality & Life Cycle, which includes cradle-to-grave life cycle analysis (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Certifications organized by product


Incidents of non-compliance concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services

We are not aware of relevant health and safety incidents of noncompliance concerning our products.

417 - Marketing and Labeling

We manufacture sustainable, renewable and recyclable wood products that can be used in a wide variety of applications, often as a more environmental alternative to other construction and fossil-fuel based materials. We comply with, and regularly monitor, developments in the United States and Canada to ensure our product labeling meets and reflects regulatory requirements, where needed.


Requirements for product and service information and labeling

Product Quality & Life Cycle

Data safety and certification information on our website about the source, certifications and safe handling is available for all of our products, organized by product.


Incidents of non-compliance concerning product and service information and labeling

We are not aware of significant product labeling incidents of non-compliance concerning our products.

418 - Customer Privacy

We respect and uphold individual rights to privacy and the protection of personal information. West Fraser has two privacy officers identified as a point of contact to address privacy concerns.


Substantiated complaints concerning breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data

No significant privacy complaints received. See: Product Quality & Life Cycle