Setting The Record Straight

SFI Statement on Stand's (previously ForestEthics) Activist Campaign

March 2016: We share Stand's underlying objective to save forests, but we disagree with their decision to target Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI). SFI has a proven track record of helping to grow future forests through programs to sustain communities, fund conservation research, educate youth and work to continually improve and quantify conservation impacts. SFI®, along with other certification standards, plays an important role in forest protection. An inclusive approach to forest certification is needed if progress is to be made.

Stand's March 2016 press release demonstrates that their objective is to misrepresent the value of SFI by threatening companies that buy paper, wood and packaging products. What large corporations in the supply chain should understand is that we need more responsible forestry, not less.

Conservation and Forest Research

The truth is that SFI certification continues to grow on all fronts because we play a key role in forest protection. With more than 280 million acres/110 million hectares certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard, our rigorous certification requirements protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, funding conservation research, and protecting Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value. That gives SFI the necessary scale to directly influence the future of our forests.

Independent Governance

SFI Inc.’s 18-member multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprises three chambers, representing environmental, economic and social interests. Board members include representatives of environmental, conservation, professional and academic groups, family forest owners, public officials, labour and the forest products industry.

Diverse Stakeholders

Over the past 20 years, SFI has evolved into an internationally-endorsed forest certification program used by a diverse set of groups including conservation organizations, community groups, the public sector, universities, indigenous peoples, and many more. Twenty one Aboriginal and tribal groups in Canada and the U.S. have over 4.3 million acres (1.7 million hectares) certified to the SFI Standard. More Aboriginal groups use SFI than any other forest certification standard.

The collective impact of both SFI’s conservation and community initiatives, including SFI Implementation Committees, SFI Conservation and Community Partnership Grants, and SFI Inc. partnerships and MOUs, demonstrate that SFI is a community, not just a standard, and that together, the community stands for Future Forests.

Consumer and Market Recognition

Of more than 20,000 U.S. consumers surveyed by the Natural Marketing Institute, 24% recognized the SFI logo and understood what it stands for. The SFI logo is recognized and understood more than any other forest certification logo. Products that are certified to SFI are sold in more than 120 countries. Twenty percent of Fortune 100 companies are already using the SFI on-product label, and last year, more than 7,000 SFI label use requests were approved.

In a world where only ten percent of the forests are certified, we must work together to promote responsible forestry, because we all rely on healthy forests in our daily lives. We don’t want to silence our critics, but rather work in a meaningful way that makes SFI stronger and, in turn, ensures the long-term health and future of our forests, and the people that depend on them.

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Kathy Abusow

President & CEO

Sustainable Forestry Initiative