WASHINGTON - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Inc. today reported significant growth across key performance indicators with the release of Writing the Next Chapter , SFI's 2013 Annual Progress Report.

Since 2007, forests certified to the SFI Standard® have grown by 100 million acres to 240 million acres today. Total chain-of-custody certified locations grew from 500 in 2007 to more than 2,500. Also, SFI received on-product label requests for more than 6,000 wood, paper and packaging products in 2012, up from only 50 for the entire year in 2007.

"While our Progress Report demonstrates growing momentum for responsible forestry, with indicators of success rising across the board, what's most exciting is our conservation and customer partnerships," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI. "By working together, leading environmentalists, community advocates and SFI Program Participants are writing the next chapter to promote sustainable forestry, to improve forestry practices and to encourage responsible purchasing of forest products."

With a $400,000 initial investment in 2010, SFI's Conservation and Community Grant program grew to over $4.8 million by 2012 with leveraged contributions and 150 project partners including the American Bird Conservancy, Habitat for Humanity affiliates, National Association of State Foresters, National Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy of Canada, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, and World Resources Institute.

On the supply-chain front, the report congratulates four market leaders – Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers and Pearson – for stepping forward to become SFI Founding Forest Partners, making five-year commitments to increase certification across the forest products supply-chain.

The report highlights the active, on-the-ground outreach, training and program work of the 35 local and regional SFI Implementation Committees across North America, who train loggers, advance best management practices for water quality and do so much more to support healthy communities and thriving working forests.

The report's theme, Writing the Next Chapter, connects with the reality that on June 5, SFI launched the 18-month process to revise its standard and create the SFI 2015-2019 Standard, which includes reaching out to 10,000 individuals and organizations and holding numerous workshops across North America.

The SFI External Review Panel, a panel of distinguished independent experts representing environmental, academic, professional and public organizations, conducts an independent review of the SFI Program and the SFI Progress Report to ensure it fairly states the status of SFI implementation. The ERP will now focus on ensuring that the SFI standard revision process gives ample consideration to all comments received.

More information about SFI and access to the report can be found at sfiprogram.org.

About Sustainable Forestry Initiative

SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. Across the United States and Canada, 240 million acres/nearly 100 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to 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 http://www.sfiprogram.org/ and http://sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.

Source: Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc


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