Monday, June 02, 2008

New Face, Same Old Story

Maybe you have noticed the billboards and print ads advertising the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification scheme? They have been popping up in major metropolitan areas across the country from NY to Boston to Bentonville, AR. They have appeared in major newspapers and print periodicals and have even been spotted on the side of telephone booths. Maybe you wonder, what is this, must be good, right?

Well I am sorry to say my friends that the SFI still equals the Same-old Forest Industry. All the smiley faces and green words mean nothing compared to the continued large-scale clearcutting, conversion of natural forests to plantations, toxic chemical usage and logging of endangered forests perpetrated by SFI member companies like International Paper. It is nothing more than industry greenwash!

SFI companies are not changing their ways and continue to rely on the certification scheme as a crutch while the damage is being done in our forests. The only credible certification scheme out there continues to be the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which is broadly supported by the North American environmental community. Additionally, the FSC is increasingly becoming the choice for Fortune 500 companies and consumers in the marketplace. When you are looking at labels on paper products, buy recycled and the FSC and don’t buy the SFI.


Terie said...

I am really enjoying the articles you have on this site. If I wasn't falling asleep I would read more but for now I must go to bed. will be back soon. Good working bringing these important points to light.

Anonymous said...

Long on slogans, short on facts. Why not turn your attention to the real forest crisis in the US ... that families, who own more than half of US forests, find it harder and harder to keep their land in the family, and in forests. We're losing 1.5 million acres of these family-owned forests every year ... and you're still ranting about clearcutting. How 19th century!

SFN said...

Good point- FSC certification provides real benefit for family forest owners who commit to sustainable practices (many are happy to do so). FSC certification makes it possible for them to access growing market benefits. SFI certification isn't really available for family forests, and is not attached to any real market benefits.

The challenge is helping family forest owners ACCESS FSC certification.

For more info: