Brand owners and brand managers are using on-product certification labels and including forest certification in their environmental policies in growing numbers. As an example, almost 20% of Fortune 100 companies use the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) on-product label. In 2014, more than 6,500 SFI on-product label use requests were approved. The SFI logo is recognized – and what it stands for understood – by more people than any other forest certification logo, according to a 2015 Natural Marketing Institute survey.
What SFI represents when you see the label is something we are celebrating as we mark SFI’s 20th anniversary this year. We have seen lots of progress in forest certification since 1995. Take a look at some of the work SFI has supported that helps keep our forests and communities healthy and beautiful.
1. Providing places for outdoor adventures: Of the more than 270 million acres of responsibly managed forests certified to the SFI Standard, 97% are available for outdoor recreation.
2. A growing base of scientific study: SFI is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in forest research to improve forest health. Since 1995, SFI program participants have invested more than $1.5 billion in forest research activities.
3. Bringing communities together: SFI supports local communities through landowner outreach, community-building projects and logger training. SFI partners with Habitat for Humanity to help families build homes. And more than 150,000 loggers have completed SFI-sponsored professional training programs since 1995.
4. Improving water quality: The National Association of State Foresters cites SFI’s best management practices for water quality as a model for land owners to follow.
5. Helping protect fish and wildlife: Forests provide critical habitat for a variety of species, in the water, on the ground and in the air. In Maine, a local SFI Implementation Committee is improving stream crossings for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout.
6. Cleaning the air we breathe: Trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and release oxygen back into it. In addition to conserving working forests and their future, SFI funds tree planting programs. SFI also spearheaded a Guinness world record that saw more than 200,000 trees planted in one hour.
7. Providing a cultural link to indigenous peoples: SFI works with indigenous communities to cultivate and maintain healthy forests so cultural, spiritual, and economic needs can be met.
8. Getting kids outside: SFI is helping kids switch from screen time to tree time by bringing young people outdoors to reconnect with nature. SFI works with Girl Guides of Canada and Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada.
9. Providing quality products made from responsibly managed forests: When you choose paper, packaging, or any forest product with an SFI label, you’re supporting everything that sustainable forestry stands for: clear air and water, healthy wildlife habitats, conservation research and more.
10. Making conservation work: Projects in forests certified to SFI standards range from restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem in the Southeast US to helping bats, bees and bears.
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc.
SFI® Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI program. SFI works collaboratively with conservation groups, local communities, youth, resource professionals, landowners and countless other organizations and individuals who share our passion for and commitment to healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities. In addition, sustainable forestry is promoted through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. SFI on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at www.sfiprogram.org and www.sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.