President’s Day can be a good time to reflect on the issues that are important to us and re-commit to taking action.
For the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), there is one core issue with many aspects: standing for the future of forests. SFI works with local, state, federal, and tribal governments throughout North America, developing partnerships to conserve forest resources, protect wildlife habitat, and implement responsible forestry practices.
This President’s Day, get inspired by a few of SFI’s favorite quotes from forest-defending presidents and a message from SFI’s president and CEO.
“The history of every nation is eventually written in the way in which it cares for its soil.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt
“We can best serve the interests of the American people and generations yet to come by seeking to harmonize competing interests and to reconcile legitimate social goals. And in doing these things, we'll be a trusted friend to both the environment and to the people.”
Message from the President & CEO of SFI
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 people who 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.
Kathy Abusow President and CEO
To find out more about sustainable forestry, SFI product labeling and how you can help support the future of forests by “buying certified”, visit sfiprogram.org.