Pulp and Paper Canada

Features Environment Sustainability
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program marks record growth


January 20, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Arlington, VA — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative program recorded substantial growth in 2007, including a 750% …
Arlington, VA — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative program recorded substantial growth in 2007, including a 750% increase in locations with SFI chain-of-custody certification that can track products from certified forests.

“We started 2007 with 21 certificates at 48 locations, and ended it with 102 SFI chain-of-custody certifications at 408 certified locations,” SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said. “This represents a 386% increase in certificates and a 750% increase in certified locations — and it appears the momentum will continue in 2008.”

Chain-of-custody certification means a company has a tracking system in place that identifies the amount of certified, uncertified and recycled content in the forest products it buys, uses or sells.

There was also an impressive increase in the amount of SFI-certified lands — to 143.7 million acres (58.1 million hectares) at the end of 2007 from 135 million acres (54.6 million hectares) at the end of 2006. The SFI sustainable forestry certification program is one of the largest in the world, with a standard based on principles and measures that promote sustainability including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests of exceptional conservation value.

Abusow said she was not surprised by the SFI program’s growth. “More companies and more consumers are understanding the benefits of forest certification, and know that when they see the SFI label on a product — be it a juice box, printer paper or a two-by-four — that the wood fibre in that product is from a legal and well-managed source.”

“Consumers are enthusiastically embracing SFI certification because they want to know they are buying forest products with a solid environmental pedigree,” said Larry Selzer, President and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “The SFI program is fully independent, with a board that represents environmental, social and industry equally. It’s clear that SFI and all those who adhere to the SFI standard are committed to continuous improvement, protecting forests of exceptional conservation value, and stopping illegal logging.”

“In light of today’s global markets and the fact that 90% of the world’s forests are not certified, it is especially important to recognize forest products that come from certified well-managed sources of supply,” Abusow said. “By asking for SFI-certified products, customers can reward a company’s environmental stewardship and, at the same time, know they are helping to strengthen forest management globally. SFI certification is a nice addition to any corporation’s corporate social responsibility portfolio of tools. SFI certification is good for business and good for forests.”

Companies that recently earned SFI chain-of-custody certification include Quebecor World, EarthColor, Smith-Litho, xpedx, Graphic Communications, JELD-WEN and RR Donnelly’s plant in Chamblee, GA. Program participants that recently had lands certified include BC Timber Sales, Crown Pine Parent, Downie Street Sawmills, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Scotch Plywood Company and Evergreen Pulp.