More and more companies are publishing sustainability reports, so we thank you for taking the time to read ours. As a company that has won a number of awards for honesty, transparency and creativity in reporting, we welcome this trend. We all benefit as sustainability continues to become more mainstream.
Most of these reports will share statistics and stories about progress achieved at efforts to use water more efficiently, reduce emissions, invest in employees and communities, and make boardrooms more diverse. You will find all of this in our report, and more.
The better reports will go a step further and share the challenges faced in making further progress. We hope this report lives up to our reputation for addressing the difficult bits with candor.
We believe this transparency serves both our interests and the public’s interest well. Not surprising, since they are inextricably intertwined. The interests of our investors, our customers, our employees and our neighbors are more similar than dissimilar. They understand that disclosure is merely the means, and that what matters in the end is our performance.
Specifically, are we making the lives of our stakeholders and the world around them better? Are we helping to solve problems that we all face? And are we doing this as efficiently as possible to be good stewards of both financial and natural capital?
These simple but profound questions are at the heart of sustainability reporting. We must be careful not to overcomplicate what should be an exercise in transparency and an honest conversation about priorities and trade-offs.
We are wary of the undue influence of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings organizations with business models based on secret algorithms and simplistic measures that are divorced from actual sustainability performance. Although Domtar typically holds up well in these assessments, we are concerned that they draw attention away from truly important trends and factors that will define our shared economic and environmental future.
We urge ESG ratings organizations to begin adhering to the same expectations for transparency that they insist on from the companies that they evaluate.
Domtar chooses to report on the issues that are truly relevant to the long-term interests of our shareholders and other stakeholders. That is why this report does more than simply describe what we make, and how and where we make it. We want to share how the everyday products we make are not the end of our story, but the beginning. We want to share why we love what we do.
Yes, we will continue to report on responsible forest management, efficient manufacturing and our engagement with non-governmental organizations. But it is just as important for you, our reader, to understand who we are.
We harness one of the world's most renewable resources – wood – in the service of literacy, education, communication, commerce, personal dignity, good hygiene, and the development of sustainable alternatives to petroleum hydrocarbons. And that is a story that is material to everyone.
John D. Williams
President and Chief Executive Officer
We harness one of the world’s most renewable resources – wood – in the service of literacy, education, communication, commerce, personal dignity, good hygiene, and the development of sustainable alternatives to petroleum hydrocarbons. And that is a story that is material to everyone.