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September 2012 Newsletter

SFI Program Update: 
September/October 2012

SFI Conference Recognizes Value of Actions Today


Delegates to the SFI Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI, explored the many ways actions today translate into healthy forests and communities tomorrow. We heard about the work of many SFI participants and partners, and recognized some outstanding achievements.


Conference delegates learned about a range of topics across the geographic spectrum, from protecting wetland ecosystems in the western boreal forest, to managing certified state forests in Wisconsin, to responding to sustainability requirements in European bioenergy policy. The conference also featured presentations on initiatives and activities designed to prepare today's youth to be the next generation of forest managers and responsible consumers. The panel discussion on "Addressing the Other 90%" generated valuable discussion. Delegates gleaned a better understanding of the strengths of credible certification programs and how each addresses the 90 percent of forests internationally that are not certified to any standard.


Congratulations to Bill Banzhaf, who received the SFI-International Paper Sharon Haines Memorial Award for Innovation and Leadership in Sustainability. Other award winners honored included the Virginia SFI Implementation Committee for the 14th Annual SIC Achievement Award; Capacity Forest Management for the President's Award; and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and Molpus Timberlands Management LLC for the SFI Leadership in Conservation Award.


For more information, please visit the SFI Annual Conference website.  And don't forget to save the date for next year's conference - Sept. 17-19, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.


SFI Welcomes Founding Forest Partners


SFI launched SFI Forest Partners program 

with founding partners Time Inc., National Geographic, Macmillan and Pearson. The SFI Forest Partners program provides new opportunities for leading buyers of forest products to promote certification to help meet their sustainability objectives. Based on a successful Maine Pilot Project, it aims to grow the certified forestland base by five million acres/two million hectares by the end of 2014, and by 10 million acres/four million hectares by the end of 2017, as well as certification of small and medium-sized manufacturing facilities to the SFI fiber sourcing and chain-of-custody standards. It will start in the Southeast United States and eventually expand across North America. If you are interested in becoming a partner or want more information, contact Barry Graden.


Georgia Earns Kudos for Backing Inclusive Certification


An executive order signed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in August requiring that green building rating standards used for state buildings give equal credits for certification standards continues to garner attention and earn support.

  • In an op-ed posted on Mother Nature Network, Seeing the Forest for the Trees, Chuck Leavell, a tree farmer and keyboardist for the Rolling Stone, says: "Recognizing all forest certification standards not only contributes to the future of our forests, it enables Georgia landowners to increase their competitive position at home and across the world."
  • In a guest column in Oregon's NR Today, LEED monopoly hurts rural Oregon countries, State Representative Bruce Hanna cited Georgia's action, saying: "Sustainability isn't just about the environment; communities need to be sustainable, too. . . .  if LEED continues to recognize only one forest certification program to the exclusion of all others, our forest workers will continue to watch another opportunity pass them by."
  • Jeff Inks, Vice President, Code and Regulatory Affairs, says the Door and Window Manufacturers Association agrees with the Georgia executive order and "supports the use of accredited wood certification programs to qualify for wood certification credits."
  • The SFI news release congratulating Governor Deal for his action received substantial attention; with a number of articles including the National Association of State Foresters and Floor Daily websites.

USGBC Comment Period Opens This Week 


The USGBC will open its fifth public comment period of LEED V.4 (Draft 5) on October 2, with a deadline of December 10, 2012.  SFI will be closely reviewing the draft and providing comments to USGBC.


SFI supports green building tools, codes and standards that recognize all credible forest certification standards equally.  Forest certification standards like SFI can serve as an important proof point for responsible wood sourcing.  SFI will continue to urge the USGBC for equal recognition of SFI and other third-party forest certification standards.


This viewpoint has been supported in numerous media outlets, including an article in The Advance-Monticellonian, where hardwood manufacturer Tommy Maxwell wrote, "America's forests are a true treasure, and we have come a long way in learning to responsibly and sustainably manage this resource. Whether it is FSC, ATFS, SFI or another credible standard for environmentally friendly forestry practices, the goal of policymakers and conservationists should be to continually improve forestry practices, not to bestow one body with a monopoly or play favorites in the marketplace."

Dr. George Finney Recognized by Ducks Unlimited Canada


This September, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) officially recognized George Finney, President of Bird Studies Canada and the late Harvey Nelson, former Executive Director of the U.S. Office for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Both were added to DUC's North American Waterfowl Conservation Honour Roll, an international recognition program, for their significant contributions to the success of the North American Waterfowl Management PlanGeorge Finney is also an SFI Board member.  For more information, click here.

Welcome, Eli! 


Eli Weissman has joined SFI Inc. as Senior Director of Conservation Partnerships. He brings more than 14 years of experience in senior roles with several national environmental organizations, including American Rivers and the Ocean Conservancy. "As a life-long conservationist, I am excited to help SFI advance sustainable forest management, build strong partnerships, and expand our conservation grant program," Weissman says. 

Demand Continues for SFI Education Unit 



More than 26,000 people have viewed the Certified Wood Branches Out Continuing Education Unit that SFI Inc. created in conjunction with McGraw Hill to highlight the benefits of using certified wood in green building. Close to 600 architects and builders took the online test to earn continuing education credits. 



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Issue Date: October 1, 2012


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