The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) share a belief that third-party forest certification is a proven, readily-available, consumer-facing assurance tool that supports supply chain management, responsible sourcing, and corporate sustainability strategies, including action on climate change.

SFI’s mission is to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. Together with its network, SFI provides practical, scalable solutions for markets and communities working to pursue a growing commitment to a sustainable planet. SFI-certified forests and products are powerful tools to achieve shared goals such as climate action, reduced waste, conservation of biodiversity, education of future generations, and sustainable economic development.

Recent independent research has shown that consumers think SFI labels are trusted and that certifications are important.  In fact, third-party certification is increasing in consumers’ minds as a way to show that a product is green. A recent study by the Shelton Group shows that almost 1/3 of consumers, up from 27% six years ago, are using third-party certifications to discover if a product is green. Certifications are not just important for purchase, they also build trust. In the United States, 52% of customers now recognize the SFI label, and of those, 90% trust it.

As members of The Consumer Goods Forum, SFI is a regular participant in the Sustainable Retail Summit. This year, we are pleased to co-sponsor with PEFC a special session, Forest management, climate action & carbon emissions. The session will share science-based evidence that sustainable procurement by corporations which fully leverages forest certification, can also support global action on climate and other key sustainability action targets, including GHG emissions reduction, biodiversity conservation, clean water and renewable energy. It will help global manufacturers and retailers learn more about collaborating with SFI and PEFC in order to play a meaningful role on the co-benefits of forest management and climate. In particular:   

  • CGF member companies that procure PEFC and SFI certified forest products support sustainable forest management and delivery on a wide range of corporate sustainability targets for climate action and GHG emissions reduction, as well as clean water, biodiversity conservation, sustainable production & consumption and stakeholder partnerships.
  • Many CGF members, governments and civil society stakeholders already endorse the value of third-party certification for expanding consumer markets for sustainable products and achieving corporate deforestation-free supply chain commitments. By supporting proactive and inclusive approaches to procuring certified forest products, CGF members can make progress on corporate deforestation risks and corporate performance targets on climate and carbon.
  • SFI and PEFC have scale. Certified wood and paper-based solutions, especially consumer product packaging, are readily available across most key geographic markets through SFI and PEFC. PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification organization, responsible for 75 % of all certified forests globally (319 million hectares) via its global network of 45 endorsed national partners, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (North America) which represents 35% of all global certified area (152 million hectares).

Forest certification is a key tool for a forest positive future. SFI and PEFC have the scale, knowledge and network to support solutions for forest-based sustainability challenges for consumer facing manufacturers and retailers.


This post was written and contributed by:

Jason Metnick
Senior Vice President, Customer Affairs
Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.