At the end of each year, SFI takes time to give thanks, reflect on the past year, and look forward to the next year. We continue to work with a diverse network to expand our reach and commitment to future forests. We encourage you to review our two-page scorecard of our 2017 successes and partnerships.
I am proud of the SFI community for promoting responsible supply chains, elevating the conservation values associated with working forests across landscapes, and being committed to education and community engagement. Together, we stand for future forests.
Here are some of our 2017 highlights:
Project Learning Tree (PLT) became a program of SFI – PLT is an award-winning environmental education program that uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase youth understanding of the environment. PLT will help us develop the next generation of forest and conservation leaders and we are already seeking ways to expand PLT and leverage our networks. We also established PLT Canada as a nonprofit in August.
SFI Surpasses 300 Million Acres – Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard now equal 305 million acres/123 million hectares in North America. This includes more than 20 million new acres/8 million hectares certified in 2017. The SFI Forest Management Standard represents a quarter of all certified lands globally and the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard positively impacts millions of acres of additional lands.
Consumer Recognition of SFI Increases from 36% to 41% – Consumer recognition of SFI is higher than for any other forest certification standard, according to surveys of 20,000 U.S. consumers by the Natural Marketing Institute.
More than 20% of Fortune 100 Companies Use the SFI Label – Displaying the SFI logo helps consumers make good choices for forests.
SFI Expands Green Building Market Access – Smartlam and Structurlam are the first two manufacturers of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to be certified to the the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. These companies can use certification to position themselves as suppliers in the green building market. Wood and paper products certified to SFI are now eligible to earn LEED or Green Globe credits. In addition, 92 two secondary manufacturers of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA) simultaneously earned certification to the SFI 2015-2021 Chain-of-Custody (COC) Standard making it the largest single group certified to the SFI COC Standard at once.
PEFC Recognition of the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard – This recognition of SFI in PEFC’s Chain-of-Custody certification helps provide market access to SFI Program Participants who sell products in nearly 130 countries.
The SFI Forest Partners Program at 9.2 Million Acres – As we wrap up the first phase of this program, we have 9.2 million acres certified/confirmed. State lands in Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas were certified in 2017. This certification along with the ongoing support of our program funders Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers, Pearson, and Hearst made this success possible. In 2018, we plan to extend the SFI Forest Partners Program across the U.S. and Canada to increase forest management, fiber sourcing and chain-of-custody certification.
SFI Partners to Quantify the Conservation Impact of SFI’s Footprint – This initiative focuses on developing metrics for carbon storage, climate change mitigation, water quality and biodiversity on lands certified to SFI standards as well as larger landscapes influenced by positive programs including the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. Quantifying these environmental benefits will promote understanding of the conservation values associated with sustainably managed forests. SFI organized the SFI Conservation Impact Sounding Board, an informal group of scientists, drawn from academia, public agencies, and the non-profit conservation community, to guide the project. Participating organizations at the 2017 Sounding Board meeting included: SFI Program Participants, Virginia Tech, Nature Conservancy of Canada, American Forest Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, American Bird Conservancy, Saskatchewan Research Council, Canadian Forest Service, NatureServe, American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the U.S. Forest Service.
The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program Continues to Expand – SFI conservation grants feature collaboration from 37 different groups with a focus on carbon storage, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value. SFI community grants feature collaboration from 50 different groups with a focus on projects that engage local communities through a variety of initiatives including youth outreach, supporting Indigenous values, forest education programs, and green building projects for low-income families.
Indigenous Engagement in the SFI Community Keeps Growing – In 2017 Obishikokaang Resources Corporation certified more than 1 million hectares to the SFI Standard. This enhances forestry operations, sustainability and economic development for the Lac Seul First Nation in Northern Ontario. In addition, TimberWest became the first SFI Program Participant to be certified under the Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program.
SFI and Habitat for Humanity Continue to Partner – In 2017, Mark Rodgers, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada became chair of the SFI Board of Directors and we continue to work together at the national and local levels to expand our impact. We worked with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa to organize Women in Wood, Indigenous and Youth Build Days in Ottawa over the summer. We also have a strong partnership to grow the Habitat for Humanity Indigenous Housing Program.
Annual Conference, held in Ottawa, in recognition of Canada’s 150th – This year was the largest SFI Annual Conference ever and it featured a joint session with the Canadian Institute of Forestry attended by over 500 people. The event featured a variety of international speakers and SFI awarded Maine the SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award, J.D. Irving (JDI) the SFI Leadership in Conservation Award, and Craig Blair the SFI President’s Award. The event also recognized Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the 151st Woman for Nature. For more details on the event, see our conference wrap up, and check out our conference video.
Save the date and attend our 2018 Annual Conferencein Colorado, Oct. 16-18. It promises to be yet another landmark in the growth of the SFI community.
In 2018, SFI will continue to find new ways to collaborate and communicate directly with our network. We value your ideas and input and congratulate you for all you do on behalf of forests, our communities and our shared quality of life.