Sustainable Forestry Initiative: What Does This Label Mean?

A coalition of environmental groups is alerting Americans about the truth behind the SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) label.

| March/April 2004

“SFI member companies don’t know where more than half of their wood and paper comes from, yet the industry calls its operations ‘sustainable.’ We call it certified deception. Look past the greenwashing, and you’ll see that SFI stands for ‘Same-old Forest Industry.” —Michael Brune, Rainforest Action Network

“A village is not complete unless it has these trees to mark the season in it. They are important, like the town clock. A village that has them not…has a screw loose; an essential part is wanting.”
—Henry David Thoreau, 1862

A coalition of environmental groups is alerting Americans about the truth behind the SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) label. Launched in 2002 by the American Forest and Paper Association, the SFI label is being called a misleading marketing scheme and “the fox guarding the henhouse” by groups such as the Ecological Building Network and the U.S. Green Building Council. Few groups outside the timber industry recognize the label’s legitimacy.

According to Rainforest Action Network, SFI fails to protect old-growth forests, roadless areas, and federal lands, and it doesn’t adequately restrict clear cutting and chemical use in forests.

Voice your concern by asking your local home improvement retailer and office supply store not to carry SFI-labeled products.

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