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Resolute sues Rainforest Alliance over 'biased' audit

Canada's biggest forest products company is suing because of an unflattering audit of its logging practices in northern Ontario.

Canada's biggest forest products company is suing because of an unflattering audit of its logging practices in northern Ontario.

Resolute Forest Products is suing the Rainforest Alliance because their draft audit recommended the company's FSC certificate — an environmental stamp of approval for the industry — be suspended.

According to court documents filed by the company, the 2014 audit said Resolute is not complying with good environmental standards.
According to court documents filed by the Resolute Forest Products, the Rainforest Alliance audit says Resolute Forest Products is not complying with good environmental standards. Resolute says the audit is biased and riddled with errors. Pictured is Resolute's Thunder Bay mill. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

Resolute said the audit is biased and riddled with errors.

“Considering the draft audit report contains such an alarming number of biased interpretations, errors and omissions, serious process and fairness issues and a very clear conflict of interest, we felt we had no choice,” said Resolute spokesperson Seth Kursman.

The Rainforest Alliance is a certified auditor of forest practices around the world. Its stamp of approval allows forest companies to say they are following good environmental practices, and is considered an industry standard.

The audit was supposed to be made public this month, but Resolute won an injunction in court, sealing the audit and preventing it from being released to the public.

It's the second lawsuit the company has filed recently over environmental issues.

Resolute is also suing Greenpeace after that environmental group released a report that was also critical of its forestry practices.

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