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New Report Finds Forest Certification Program Misleads Consumers

Friday, January 09, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

SFI program lacks rigour and is less transparent than FSC 

Today ForestEthics released Peeling Back the Eco-Labels, a report comparing the rigour of forest audits conducted in Canada by the two leading forest certification systems: the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).  The report found that the SFI certification program has serious flaws in comparison to FSC.

“Corporate customers and the public rely on forest certifications to know that the paper, fiber, and lumber they buy is responsible,” said Todd Paglia, ForestEthics executive director. “These labels should allow consumers to avoid products that destroy forests, poison waterways and wildlife, and violate human rights. In the case of SFI, the label is misleading.”

ForestEthics analyzed publicly available audit reports from the past 10 years and concluded that SFI is dramatically less transparent and audit teams were smaller and took less time for the audit process than FSC. More than half of the SFI reports were missing pertinent data and SFI rarely required logging companies to take any additional action to improve operations.

“Companies that do invest in environmentally sound practices suffer from SFI’s empty claims,” said Jim Ace, ForestEthics campaigner. “But the biggest victims are our ecosystems, the people who live there, and everyone who wants to know that the paper they buy isn’t destroying forests.”

“SFI’s ‘green seal of approval’ is governed and financed by the logging industry - which gives it about as much credibility as a seal of approval for cigarettes by Phillip Morris,” said Paglia. “It’s bunk, plain and simple.”

Backgrounder and full report are available from ForestEthics.


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