One forest certification standard could never address the diversity of forest types and tenures around the world. More than 50 independent certification standards are accepted and recognized by world markets for forest products, and SFI is the largest single certification standard.
The independent, non-profit Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) helps buyers identify the best performers by endorsing national and/or regional forest certification standards that meet its rigorous criteria. The world’s largest forest certification endorsement organization, PEFC has the support of trade unions, state authorities, environmental organizations, forest owners and managers, and timber traders and, as well as producers and retailers of paper and timber products.
In 2005, the SFI program was endorsed by PEFC after a detailed examination by a PEFC-approved assessor – from its development to its forestry content, chain-of-custody certification and accreditation policies. This endorsement adds international value to SFI Inc.’s position as a highly respected, third-party certification program in North America.
In addition to the SFI Standard, PEFC has endorsed two other certification standards in North America – the U.S.-based American Tree Farm System and the Canadian Standards Association Sustainable Forest Management Standard. The SFI program recognizes PEFC-endorsed standard in North America by accepting fiber certified to the SFI, ATFS and CSA CAN/CSA Z809 standards for the SFI on-product label. As a result, the SFI program has access to fiber from 75 percent of certified forests in North America.
PEFC’s sustainable forest management criteria are founded on internationally recognized criteria and indicators developed by government agencies around the world. Its endorsement process includes a detailed application, an independent assessment, 60 days of public comment and a report by an independent assessor with recommendations for the PEFC board. The board makes a recommendation to PEFC members who vote whether to endorse the certification program.
As PEFC’s National Governing Body for the United States, SFI Inc. participates in the PEFC General Assembly and has input into PEFC processes and technical documents, which affects forest certification programs globally.