Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Program

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The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Program is a 501 ©(3) non-profit charitable organization that is made up of a comprehensive system of principles, objectives and performance measures developed by professional foresters, conservationists and scientists, among others that combines the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the long-term protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water quality.

SFIS Program (certification of Lands and Procurement Program)

The SFI® Standard spells out the requirements of compliance with the program. The SFI Standard (SFIS) is based on twenty principles that address economic, environmental, cultural and legal issues, in addition to a commitment to continuously improve sustainable forest management. The Sustainable Forestry Board (SFB) solely governs the content of the SFI Standard and Auditing Procedures and Qualifications. SFI is proud to report that they are the largest single forest certification standard in the world with 193.2 million acres enrolled in the program.

Some of the accomplishments that repeated year after year are as follows:

  • Community outreach:  A network of 37 local SFI Implementation Committees contribute yearly over $3 million dollars to support local programs such as education and training for loggers and foresters, and education opportunities to family forest owners. Total contribution since 1995 has been $55.1 million
  • Research:  in 2009, SFI program participants invested $73.2 million for research activities that improve the health, productivitiy and responsible management of forest resources
  • Reforestation:  Each year, approximately 1.4 million acres are reforested through planting or natural regeneration by SFI program participants
  • Education and training:  6,349 resource and logging professionals were trained in 2009 through the SFI program

To learn more about the SFI Program, visit www.sfiprogram.org.

SFI Chain Of Custody Program (SFI-CoC)

The SFI ® program has three on-product label types, Chain of Custody, Promoting Sustainable Forestry and Fiber Sourcing. They are described below.

Percent Certified Content Labels (Chain of Custody)

The SFI program has distinct percent certified content labels and also provides an additional claim regarding recycled fiber content. Certification to the SFI Chain of Custody Standard is required for SFI program participants to use any of the percent content labels.

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Promoting Sustainable Forest Management Label

This label may be used by any chain-of-custody certified primary producer that uses either the volume credit or average percentage method. Chain-of-custody certified secondary producers may also use this label once they obtain all the information under 3.5 in SFI Section 3 of the SFI requirements document. This label may also be used for X% as long as the actual percentage is communicated to the buyer in writing. The volume credit method requires that the portion of products that carry the label will be proportionate to the percentage of certified content and will be considered as including 100% of certified raw material Non-certified material cannot originate from a “controversial source” as defined in Section 7 and 13 of the Requirements for the SFI 2010-2014 Program.

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X% Content Label

This label may be used by any chain-of-custody certified primary producer that uses the average percentage method. Chain-of-custody certified secondary producers may also use this label once they obtain all information under 3.5 in SFI Section 3 of the SFI requirements document. To qualify for the X% content label, a manufacturing facility must accurately demonstrate that a specified percentage of raw material in its product or production line carrying the label comes directly from a forest independently certified to either the SFI or CSA Standards. Non-certified material cannot originate from a “controversial source” as defined in Section 7 and 13 of the Requirements for the SFI 2010-2014 Program. The only way to qualify for this label is by using the percentage based method described in the chain of custody requirements.

Chain-of-Custody Labels with Mobius Loop

Either of the chain-of-custody labels above can include a mobius loop stating the percentage of post-consumer recycled content in the product, as illustrated below.
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Fiber Sourcing Labels

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The SFI Standard requires primary manufacturers to employ an auditable system to characterize the forest practices on the lands where they procure raw material. This is done by auditing the on-the-ground practices for a portion of the wood that is supplied to their processing facilities. The program emphasizes reforestation, the utilization of best management practices and enhancing the professional capacity of wood production operations. The SFI labeling program also recognizes landowners certified under the American Tree Farm System® and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) programs, who supply raw materials to SFI program participants as a source equivalent to forests certified under the SFI program for fiber sourcing labels. In addition to the procurement system, the SFI Standard requires participants to support various training and education programs, all of which is designed to assist landowners in improving their capacity to practice sustainable forestry on all types of forest lands.

SFI program primary producers who successfully achieve certification to the SFI Standard, and secondary producers who purchase at least two-thirds of their materials for a product or product line from certified SFI program participants or pre and post-consumer recycled, may qualify to use a fiber sourcing label shown above by achieving certification to Section 4 of the Rules for Fiber Sourcing, and On-Product Labels.