SFI Program

SFI Standard Overview

The SFI Standard is a comprehensive system of principles, values, objectives, performance measures and indicators developed by professional foresters, conservationists and scientists – and include a commitment to continuously improve sustainable forest management. To be certified, forest operations must be third-party audited to these requirements by an independent, accredited certification body.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is a forest certification program built on the premise that responsible environmental policy and sound business practices can be integrated to benefit forest products companies, shareholders, customers and the people they serve.  Companies participating in SFI agree to adhere to a set of forestry principles that call for a land stewardship ethic which integrates the reforestation, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air and water resources, wildlife and fish habitat, and forest aesthetics.

The SFI program is run by an independent North American non-profit organization, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. (SFI, Inc.) with a balanced, multi-stakeholder Board of Directors governing over the SFI Standard and all aspects of the program, including chain of custody certification and labeling, marketing and promotion. The diversity of the board members reflects the variety of interests in the forestry community. Board representatives come from environmental and conservation organizations, public officials, professional and academic groups, forest products industry, independent logging professionals and forest landowners. This balance ensures that the SFI Program protects the economic, environmental and social needs of our forests and communities.

At the heart of the SFI program is the SFI Standard.  This document lays out the forestry principles companies must agree to follow.  In addition to forestry principles the SFI Standard also establishes protocols for participants to follow if they wish to use the SFI label on forest derived consumer products (paper products and lumber).

One requirement of the standard is the establishment of state-based public feedback loops where individuals who have a concern or question about a specific forestry project or the SFI program in general can get answers.  SFI participants in Maine and New Hampshire developed a 1-888 number for this purpose.


The 14 core principles of the SFI 2015-2019 Standard:
(link to standard www.sfiprogram.org/files/pdf/2015-2019-standardsandrules-web-lr-pdf/)

1. Sustainable Forestry
2. Forest Productivity and Health
3. Protection of Water Resources
4. Protection of Biological Diversity
5. Aesthetics and Recreation
6. Protection of Special Sites
7. Responsible Fiber Sourcing Practices (North America)
8. Avoidance of Controversial Sources, including Illegal Logging (Offshore)
9. Legal Compliance
10. Research
11. Training and Education
12. Community Involvement and Social Responsibility
13. Transparency
14. Continual Improvement