Basics of SFI

SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. 

Across Canada and the United States,  285 million acres (115 million hectares) are certified to the SFI forest management standard, the largest single forest standard in the world.

The SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. 



Voluntary third-party forest certification began in the 1990s in response to market concerns about forest management and illegal logging, primarily in developing countries.

The SFI program was launched in 1994 as one of the U.S. forest sector’s contributions to the vision of sustainable development established by the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Its original principles and implementation guidelines began in 1995, and it evolved as the first SFI national standard backed by third-party audits in 1998.


More than a Standard

Supporting research is a central tenet of the SFI program. We see it as a way to further the conservation value of forests and lands certified to the SFI Standards subject to SFI’s fiber-sourcing requirements. Our commitment to research is also evidence that SFI is more than just a standard.

In fact, SFI is the only forest certification standard in the world that requires participants to support forestry research. These activities include improving forest health, productivity and sustainability. Better management of forest resources and enhancing the environmental benefits and performance of forest products are also central to the SFI research mission.

The SFI community’s forests are a living laboratory that shows how responsible management can maximize the environmental, economic and social values that matter to all of us.