SFI wood certification scheme can now be used for PEFC, a hit at FSC

OTTAWA, ON - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Fiber Sourcing Standard is now recognized by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), a move the two organizations says provides a tool to meet PEFC requirements for the avoidance of controversial sources in the PEFC Chain of Custody standard.

"PEFC is pleased to support initiatives of its members that are unique and innovative such as the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, which provides an effective mechanism to demonstrate compliance with PEFC Chain of Custody requirements concerning controversial sources at a global level, while promoting the responsible procurement of wood fibre for SFI manufacturing facilities across the USA and Canada," said Ben Gunneberg, CEO and Secretary General of PEFC International, in a PEFC blog.  

The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard not only provides the avoidance of risk from controversial sources, it also sets mandatory practice requirements for the responsible procurement of all fiber sourced directly from the forest, whether the forest is certified or not. The fiber sourcing requirements include measures to broaden the practice of biodiversity, use forestry best management practices (BMPs) to protect water quality, provide outreach to small family forest owners, and use trained harvesting professionals.

As a result of the implementation of the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, over 170,000 professional harvesters have been trained to ensure understanding of water quality, biodiversity, and other sustainable forest practice requirements.

"The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is a pioneering approach that puts the responsibility on the manufacturing organization to address its entire supply chain by promoting legal and responsible sourcing," said Kathy Abusow, President & CEO of SFI Inc. "The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard holds the individual mills and manufacturers, who bear all the costs to certify, accountable for promoting responsible forestry, and reduces the financial burden on the small family forest owner. Given that about 90% of the world's forests are uncertified, there needs to be strong mechanisms to promote responsible procurement from these lands."

The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard has not only been recognized by PEFC for avoiding controversial sources in the supply chain, but by many other global organizations as well. Its recognition is part of a growing trend to look across the supply chain for assurances of legal and responsible procurement:

•The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically called out SFI's standards in 2016 for having "made important contributions to improved BMP implementation through logger training, landowner outreach, and water quality requirements."  
• The U.S. Green Building Council called out the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard in 2016 as a way to meet the responsible sources category under the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) alternative compliance path.
• The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Forest Solutions Group, whose members sell products in 180 countries and are responsible for about a third of annual global forest, paper, and packaging sales, recognizes and supports the assurance of management performance and fiber flows provided by SFI Standards.
• SFI's Fiber Sourcing Standard is listed as a resource in WRI/WBCSD Guide to Sustainable Procurement of Forest Products. The Guide seeks to promote the demand of sustainably produced wood- and paper-based products and support procurement managers in making informed choices.
• The Sustainability Consortium, which works to improve consumer products sustainability, calls out the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard as a way to report on non-certified forest content in its Key Performance Indicator around virgin fiber sourcing.
• Uptake of the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard in the bioenergy sector was noted in the UNECE FAO 2015-2016 Forest Products Annual Market Review.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. SFI® is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting forest sustainability and supporting the links between sustainable forests and communities through grant programs, carefully targeted research, direct leadership of critical initiatives, and partnerships that effectively contribute to multiple conservation objectives.

Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard cover 285 million acres/115 million hectares. sfiprogram.org


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.