PEFC endorses North America's SFI forest certification standard; three-quarters of all certified forests in Canada, U.S. meet PEFC-endorsed standards and are eligible for SFI and PEFC chain-of-custody labels

WASHINGTON, D.C. , November 14, 2011 (press release) – Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Inc. announced today its forest certification standard has once again met the rigorous third-party assessment of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
“PEFC International’s endorsement reinforces our position as an internationally respected program with tough requirements to strengthen forest practices and support communities across North America,” said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. “We are proud to be recognized by PEFC, and to be part of a global network with national members in 34 countries who share our commitment to sustainable forest management.”

Independent, non-profit SFI Inc. manages the largest single forest standard in the world – the 195 million acres/79 million hectares certified to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard in North America account for one-third of PEFC’s total certified area. The PEFC endorsement means fiber from SFI-certified forests will continue to be accepted as certified content for both PEFC and SFI chain-of-custody labels.

PEFC is an umbrella organization that endorses national forest certification systems developed collaboratively by diverse stakeholders, and tailored to local priorities and conditions. To date, PEFC has recognized certification standards in 29 countries, accounting for about 602 million acres/244 million hectares of certified forests. The endorsement process involves an independent expert assessment and a 60-day public comment period before recommendations are made to the PEFC board and its members. Forests certified to standards endorsed by PEFC are inspected annually by independent auditors.

“The SFI program is an important certification program in addressing the unique needs of North America’s forests and communities, and it is an important contributor to working with PEFC to address the challenges facing forests globally,” said PEFC Secretary General Ben Gunneberg. “Only forest certification schemes like SFI that meet our rigorous meta-standard and are developed in an open, transparent manner through a multistakeholder process are endorsed by PEFC.”

Other North American standards endorsed by PEFC are the CAN/CSA-Z809 Sustainable Forest Management Standard, the CAN/CSA Z804 Sustainable Forest Management Standard for Woodlots and other Small Area Forests, and the American Tree Farm System. Three-quarters of all certified forests in Canada and the United States are to PEFC-endorsed standards and are eligible for SFI and PEFC chain-of-custody labels.

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