At the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, we believe the future of our forests and our shared quality of life depend on strengthening the vital links between healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities.
The story of SFI unfolds in the pages of this report, interwoven through the data, people and accomplishments that constitute the SFI community across North America. SFI Program Participants in North America are responsible for more than one quarter of the global supply of certified forests and they sell into more than 120 countries around the globe. SFI’s global reach is further strengthened through its international recognition by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Increasingly, global brands are focused on avoiding risk when it comes to procuring forest products by making commitments to avoid deforestation and illegal logging. Products certified to SFI standards are an obvious solution for any organization focused on a low-risk and steady supply of forest products. However, one critical step to meet the challenge of deforestation is to ensure people understand the difference between irresponsible and responsible approaches to forestry.
It’s of paramount importance that corporate brand owners and society at large understand that using forest products does not mean they are contributing to forest loss. Rather, by using forest products from certified forests, or other responsibly managed sources of supply, people are promoting the use of a renewable resource. It’s a resource that provides the clean air we breathe, the water we drink, the paper we use and the homes where we live. Indeed, forests touch each of us every day.
SFI is busy elevating awareness that forests are the vehicle for doing more good in the supply chain. We feel we are in a good position to make this case given the SFI community’s collective contribution of more than $1.5 billion to forest research over the last 20 years, which has resulted in improved forestry practices and stronger standards.
In addition, the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program remains focused on helping make the case that responsibly managed forests clean our water, filter our air, store carbon, conserve wildlife, and sustain livelihoods in many rural communities. Thanks to the grassroots network of SFI Implementation Committees across the U.S. and Canada, the number of trained professional loggers, Habitat for Humanity builds, conservation trails, and youth education projects continues to grow.
SFI is working in other ways to connect people to forests. In fact, more than 97% of forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard are available for outdoor recreational opportunities. The SFI community also extends its reach through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, which promotes responsible procurement of forest products whether the forests are certified or not.
Over the last 20 years, the SFI Standards, SFI community, and SFI programs have evolved and improved and have made a considerable contribution to our shared quality of life. While globally, many are focused on minimizing the risks and guilt of using forest products, we are focused on a future where the global community has addressed deforestation and illegal logging, and takes pride in purchasing forest products derived from a responsibly managed renewable resource.
Thank you for being part of the SFI community. Together, we are making a difference.
Read SFI’s 2015 Progress Report: Growing Our Future here.