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FAQ: A Low Risk Procurement Strategy Includes SFI

Development of the SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules | Stakeholder Engagement and SFI Implementation Committees | A Low Risk Procurement Strategy Includes SFI | SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard Enhancements | SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard Enhancements | SFI 2015-2019 Chain of Custody Standard Enhancements | Non-Timber Forest Products | FAQ Home

How does the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard address illegal logging?
The global marketplace has become increasingly concerned with the need to avoid forest based materials from regions of the world where there is an increased risk of illegal logging or deforestation. Historically, less than 2% of the fiber purchased by SFI Program Participants comes from outside the United States and Canada. Previous versions of the SFI Fiber Sourcing and Chain of Custody requirements have focused on ensuring a risk assessment by Program Participants to avoid illegal sources from outside the United States and Canada.

Despite the very low risk of illegal logging in the United States and Canada, the marketplace has increasingly wanted risk assessments across the entire supply chain. The SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard now requires Program Participants to assess the risk of illegal logging regardless of the country or region of origin, which means the same requirements that apply outside the United States and Canada, now also apply to sources within the United States and Canada. This is an assurance that will further facilitate compliance with corporate and government policies such as the U.S. Lacey Act and the European Union Timber Regulation.
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How do the SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules address sourcing from controversial sources from the United States and Canada and off-shore?
With the SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules, SFI has expanded the definition of controversial sources and requires program participants making claims or using the SFI labels to conduct a risk assessment to avoid controversial sources (SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard - Appendix 1, Part 6 and the SFI CoC Standard - Part 4).

Controversial sources as defined in the SFI Standards are forest activities which are not in compliance with applicable state, provincial or federal laws, particularly as they may relate to:

Controversial sources also include fiber sourced from illegal logging and fiber sourced from areas without effective social laws.
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What is the SFI Inc. policy regarding forest tree biotechnology?
The SFI Board of Directors passed a policy that builds upon SFI’s strong existing measures regarding research on genetically modified trees via forest tree biotechnology (Section 7—Policies of the SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules). The policy recognizes the use of genetically modified organisms as an evolving issue, as federal and international laws, regulations, agreements, treaties and marketplace recognition of genetically engineered trees via forest tree biotechnology change. In short, the policy states “use of fiber from genetically engineered trees via forest biotechnology is not approved for use in SFI-labeled products,” but SFI “will proactively review and update the SFI Standard language and policy as necessary.” Specifically SFI Inc:


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What do the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard and the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard say about climate change?
Both the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard and the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard have requirements regarding the awareness of the impacts of climate change. Forest land owners, managers and those that purchase fiber from non-certified landowners must individually, or working with partners, broaden the awareness of the impacts of climate change on forests, wildlife and biological diversity. Where available, forest land owners, managers and those that purchase fiber from non-certified landowners must monitor the outputs from regional climate change models regarding long-term forest health, productivity and economic viability (SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard - Performance Measure 10.3 and SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard – Performance Measure 5.3).
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