Growing Our Future: Celebrating 20 Years of SFI

sfi-thumb2Sustainable Forestry Initiative

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. While they develop and oversee standards for forest management and the forest products supply chain, they are more than a set of standards — they are a community that stands for future forests. SFI works at the intersection of thriving forests, sustainable communities and responsible procurement.

SFI is governed by the SFI Board, which sets SFI’s strategic direction and is responsible for overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI Program and SFI Standards. The Board’s three chambers represent environmental, social and economic sectors equally.

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Three Certification Standards and the Scale to Make a Difference
Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard cover more than a quarter-billion acres/100 million hectares, stretching from Canada’s boreal forest to the U.S. South. These forests contribute to the overall quality of life of millions of people throughout the United States and Canada, and generate forest products utilized in more than 120 countries worldwide.

The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard promotes responsible forestry practices by requiring: measures to broaden biodiversity, best management practices to protect water quality, trained harvesting professionals, forestry research landowner outreach and avoidance of controversial sources

The SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard requirements track fiber from certified forest content, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled material, with third-party audits to verify performance.

Forests Touch us all
SFI works to ensure the health and future of our forests, because forests are a part of our everyday lives. Growing this future will require a broad range of partnerships and expertise. SFI brings landowners and
brand owners from across the supply chain together with communities, government agencies, conservation groups and other key interests to advance understanding and ensure a better future for all of us.

Promoting Conservation Through Research, Grants, and Daily Acts of Responsible Forest Management
SFI is the only forest certification program in North America that requires participants to support research to improve forest health, productivity, conservation understanding and sustainable management of forest resources.

Beyond the research requirements of the SFI standards, SFI Program participants engage in conservation projects every day that reflect the diversity of forests across the continent, and ensure the protection of conservation attributes that matter to us all.

Since 2010, SFI has awarded more than 66 SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships grants totaling more than $1.9 million to foster research and to pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $7.2 million.

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Engaging Market Leaders to Promote Responsible Purchasing
The buying decisions of consumers, architects and builders, corporate leaders and governments prove how much they care about using natural resources responsibly. SFI encourages private and public sector leaders to choose SFI as part of their responsible wood, paper and packaging purchasing. A signature effort is the SFI Forest Partners Program, which works with market leaders to grow certification across the supply chain.

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The trend toward recognizing all forest certification standards is on the rise. In 2013, GreenBlue, The Sustainability Consortium, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the National Association of State Foresters and the Consumer Goods Forum all put out statements supporting an inclusive approach to recognizing certification.

Not only is SFI recognized by customers, conservation groups and government, the SFI 2010-2014 Standard is also recognized as a credible forest certification standard by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

SFI Forest Partners Program Continues to Grow
In 2010, four market leaders — Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers and Pearson — founded the SFI Forest Partners Program with additional support from Hearst Enterprises. The commitment of these market leaders is to increase certification across the supply chain, helping to safeguard environmental values, support sustainable communities and expand market access.

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The SFI Forest Partners Program has a goal of certifying 10 million acres/4 million hectares by the end of 2017, starting in the U.S. South. In addition, SFI is collaborating with the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) to create opportunities on shared objectives to certify more lands.

The partnership grows in Florida — the Tate’s Hell and Blackwater River state forests passed an audit in the spring of 2015, enabling more than 400,000 acres/161,000 hectares of public managed forests to become certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard.

How you can Make a Difference
SFI recognizes that playing a leading role in growing our forest of the future will require collaborating with a wide range of interests today. SFI brings landowners and brand owners from across the supply chain together with communities, conservation groups and other key interests to tackle the issues that define forests today and will shape the future of forests.

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When you choose paper certified to SFI, you are making a difference on-the-ground today to ensure healthy forests for tomorrow. You are showing you care about the responsible use of natural resources through responsible purchasing decisions and actions.

Forests across North America have never been managed better, and SFI has played an integral part. But there is so much more to do. Ask for SFI, and join them in making a stand for future forests.

Learn more: sfiprogram.org

Click here for the PDF download SFI 2015 Annual Progress Report: Growing Our Future, or request a printed copy here.

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Sustainable Forestry Initiative, SFI and SFI Forest Partners are registered trademarks.

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