HOW TO CERTIFY

Getting certified to SFI is one of the best things that organizations can do to support the long term sustainability of forests and ensure the multitude of benefits that forests provide for future generations.

All SFI Standards require third-party independent certification audits by competent and accredited certification bodies. All certification bodies must be accredited by a member of the International Accreditation Forum — ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) or the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

STEP 1: Determine which SFI Standard applies to your organization – If Chain of Custody or Certified Sourcing, skip to Step 3.

STEP 2: Complete and submit a membership application to SFI – relevant to SFI Forest Management and Fiber Sourcing applicants. This includes applicants interested in SFI’s Small-Scale Forest Management Module for Indigenous Peoples and Families and the SFI Small Lands Group Certification Module.

STEP 3: Prepare for an Audit – Ensure your operations meets SFI Standard requirements and contact a third-party accredited certification body to schedule an audit.

STEP 4: Get Audited – The certification body you select will visit your operations and determine if you meet the SFI standard requirements. Your auditor will register your new certificate with SFI.

STEP 5: Use SFI Trademarks – SFI will provide the necessary artwork to use the SFI promotional and on-product labels and any certification statements to support your certification and trademark use.

SFI STANDARDS

SFI FOREST MANAGEMENT

The SFI Forest Management Standard is the largest single forest management certification standard in the world. Among its requirements are measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value.

The SFI Small-Scale Forest Management Module for Indigenous Peoples and Families applies in Canada. It’s designed for landowners and managers in Canada that want a solution for group or individual certification.

WHO CAN APPLY:
Organizations that own or have management authority for forestlands in the USA and/or Canada. This includes industrial and family forest owners, universities, conservation groups, public agencies, timber investment management organizations and real estate investment trusts.

SFI FIBER SOURCING

The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is for manufacturers that source from a variety of ownerships or that don’t own forestland. It distinguishes SFI from all other forest certification organizations in that it governs how SFI-certified organizations procure fiber from non-certified forest landowners in a responsible way, including avoidance of controversial sources in the supply chain.

The SFI Small Lands Group Certification Module is designed for any organization certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. This module applies in both the U.S. and Canada. Certification to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is a prerequisite to achieving the small lands group certification. SFI developed the Module in partnership with the American Forest Foundation (AFF).

WHO CAN APPLY:
Organizations that source roundwood or field-manufactured or primary-mill residual chips to support a forest products facility in the USA and/or Canada.

SFI CHAIN OF CUSTODY

The SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard is an accounting system that tracks forest fiber content through production and manufacturing to the end product. This standard also has measures to avoid controversial sources in the supply chain.

WHO CAN APPLY:
Organizations that source, process, manufacture, handle, trade, convert or print forest-based products globally.

SFI CERTIFIED SOURCING

The SFI Certified Sourcing Standard contains the requirements for SFI-certified organizations to use the SFI-certified sourcing claim and label. This standard also has measures to avoid controversial sources in the supply chain.

WHO CAN APPLY:
Organizations that source, process, manufacture, handle, trade, convert or print forest-based products globally.

Q&A

Chain-of-custody certification for a single site usually costs between $2,000 and $3,000 per year. For cost estimates, interested organizations should contact an SFI-accredited certification body (sfiprogram.org/certification-bodies). SFI does not charge a separate administrative fee for chain-of-custody certification.

Costs for SFI Forest Management and Fiber Sourcing certified organizations can vary widely based on operations and scope and an organization should contact an SFI-accredited certification body for audit cost estimates. Organizations with SFI Forest Management and Fiber sourcing also pay an annual fee to SFI which supports activities such as conservation projects, program outreach and standard development and they must support SFI Implementation Committees in the state(s), province(s) or region(s) where they operate. Contact Gordy Mouw (Gordy.Mouw@forests.org) for more details.

SFI certificates are valid for five years. A check-up (surveillance) audit is needed every 12 months to maintain SFI certification.
The SFI Rules for Use of SFI On-Product Labels and Off-Product Marks outlines all the details on SFI trademark use.
Supporting forest certification programs is one of the best things you can do for forests. And choosing SFI shows you care in so many ways. SFI’s commitment to forests is exemplified not only by our standards, but in the work we do that benefits conservation, communities and education. We are the only certification program that takes such a holistic approach to the dynamic values of our forests.
Yes. SFI certification helps companies address the growing demand from governments, customers, and consumers for forest products from responsible sources. But don’t take it from us — according to the Shelton Group, 87% of Americans say green certifications are important when purchasing a product. In the same article, 52% of Americans have heard of the SFI label, and 90% of those people say they trust it. Over 25% of Fortune 100 companies use the SFI on-product label.