What Did 10,000 Tweets Say to Resolute Forest Products?

by Richard Brooks

June 1, 2015

Five Greenpeace activists trekked to Augusta, Georgia, USA from several corners of North America to deliver some simple messages to the senior management and board of Resolute Forest Products, Canada’s largest logging company at their annual meeting.

We were accompanied, digitally, by thousands of people around the world. Our voices were amplified over social media by people across five continents and from countries as diverse as Brazil, India, New Zealand, Spain,Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Canada. Their messages were projected on site to the company’s shareholders and directors.

We came to Georgia to ask Resolute’s leaders face to face to act for the future of the Boreal Forest, which stores over 200 billion tonnes of carbon in its soil and trees, and acts as one of the best tools in our fight to save the climate. We came to encourage Resolute to act to save woodland caribou from extinction as a result, in part, of Resolute’s operations. We came to lend our voice to Indigenous First Nations community leaders who are demanding that Resolute respect their rights and desires for protection for their traditional territories.

In front of the meeting and in one on one conversations in the halls outside the AGM we said we believe Resolute CAN do it. We know Resolute can act for jobs and communities and the forest. We know that the company can regain lost Forest Stewardship Council certificates so they can market their products as environmentally responsible and socially just. We know there are solutions Resolute can adopt. If it can be done in British Columbia and Indonesia and the Brazilian Amazon and Finland and Russia, it can be done in the Canadian Boreal Forest. If other logging companies can work collaboratively with Greenpeace and environmental organizations and Indigenous First Nations, Resolute can as well.

We delivered our messages loud and clear. Resolute senior managers and board heard us.

The company’s messages in return were about sustainability and pride in their operations and workers.

Now,we think, it’s time for Resolute to live their vision and values and for us to come together to craft solutions for the Boreal Forest, workers and communities. The solutions will be challenging. We know that. And that’s why we are here to help. Greenpeace is and always will be ready to work with Resolute and others to make them happen.

We hope that Resolute will come around and drop its legal threats against Greenpeace. We hope they will stop blaming others for their financial woes. We hope they will look west and south and east across Canada and to South America, Europe and Indonesia and recognize that other companies can work with environmentalists to put in place real solutions for forests and communities.

We will continue to hope, with you, until forests and communities win.

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