The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program is a comprehensive system of principles, objectives and performance measures developed by professional foresters, conservationists and scientists, among others that combines the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the long-term protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water quality. The SFI program was developed in 1994 to ensure North America's valuable forests were protected and to document the commitment of forest products industry members to keep our forests healthy and to practice the highest level of sustainable forestry. Currently, over 250 million acres of forestland in North America have been third-party audited to the SFI standard, making the SFI program among the world's largest sustainable forestry programs.
What is the Sustainable Forestry Initiative?
The SFI Standard newsletter (click here to view) spells out the requirements of compliance with the program. The SFI Standard is based on 13 Principles, 15 Objectives, 37 Performance Measures, and 101 Indicators that address economic, environmental, cultural and legal issues, in addition to a commitment to continuously improve sustainable forest management. The board of directors of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. solely governs the content of the SFI Standard and all aspects of the program. The diversity of the board members reflects the variety of interests in the forestry community. Of the 15 board members, five are the CEOs of nonprofit environmental groups; five board members are the CEOs of forest products companies; and the remaining board members represent stakeholders from the broader forest community.
Keeping our forests healthy is important. Healthy forests will continue to provide the wood and paper products that are vital to all of us while also ensuring that we have forests and wildlife for future generations of Americans. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative program is based on the premise that responsible environmental practices and sound business practices can be integrated to the benefit of landowners, shareholders, customers and the people they serve.
The SFI program provides a means for foresters, landowners, loggers and wood and paper producers to satisfy the growing demand of the American people for environmental responsibility while still being able to produce -- at an affordable price -- the forest products upon which people have come to rely.
"The Sustainable Forestry Initiative will have terrific long-term payoffs for improved forest conservation in the United States"
-James W. Giltmier, Senior Fellow, Pinchot Institute for Conservation