SFI’s approach helps to encourage the spread of responsible forestry practices—given that about 90% of the world’s forests are uncertified there needs to be strong mechanism to promote responsible procurement from these lands.
The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is for organizations that do not own or manage land but do procure wood directly from forests. SFI‑certified organizations must show that the raw material in their supply chain comes from legal and responsible sources, whether the forests are certified or not. Primary producers must be third-party audited and certified to the SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing Standard.
The SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing Standard promotes responsible forestry practices through 13 Principles, 11 Objectives, 29 Performance Measures, and 59 Indicators. These fiber sourcing requirements include measures to broaden the practice of biodiversity, use forestry best management practices to protect water quality, provide outreach to landowners and use the services of forest management and harvesting professionals. The Fiber Sourcing Standard applies to organizations in the United States and Canada that procure wood domestically or globally.
The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is purposefully designed to influence millions of additional landowners through promotion, education, training, and outreach. For sources originating from within the United States and Canada, SFI-certified organizations must comply with all applicable laws and also broaden the practice of responsible forestry. This is accomplished in multiple ways, including addressing the conservation of biodiversity for Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value in harvests of purchased stumpage, and utilizing the services of qualified logging professionals, certified logging professionals, and resource professionals. SFI-certified organizations must also invest in forestry research, science and technology, and develop verifiable monitoring systems to evaluate the use of best management practices across the wood and fiber supply area.
All these requirements are independently audited by a competent and accredited certification body. SFI also collaborates with the American Tree Farm System to increase forest certification on family forestlands.
When SFI-certified organizations source fiber from jurisdictions outside North America that may lack effective laws, they must complete a risk assessment to avoid controversial sources and fiber from illegal logging, and they must promote the conservation of biodiversity hotspots and high-biodiversity wilderness areas. Despite the very low risk of illegal logging in the United States and Canada, the marketplace has increasingly wanted risk assessments across the entire supply chain. The SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing Standard requires certified organizations to assess the risk of illegal logging regardless of the country or region of origin.