New SFI standards work to ensure the health and future of our forests

Standards and rules for Sustainable Forest Initiative renewed every five years

Two of the forest companies logging in the upper North Thompson Valley, West Fraser and BC Timber Sales, will be affected in their local operations by new standards and rules recently announced by Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI).

SFI is the world’s largest forestry standards organization by area.

“The future of our forests depends on credible, transparent and audit able standards to enable sustainable resource use for today and generations to come. Our work starts with the SFI standards, but SFI is so much more – it’s a community that stands together for the health and future of forests,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI Inc. “SFI plays a central role in strengthening the vital link between healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities.”

The SFI standards are updated every five years to incorporate the latest scientific information and to respond to emerging issues. As part of this update, comments were received during two 60-day public comment periods and input was gathered from 12 public workshops across the United States and Canada.

A major change to the structure of the SFI 2015-2019 standards and rules is the establishment of three stand-alone standards:

• The Forest Management Standard promotes sustainable forestry practices based on 13 principles, 15 objectives, 37 performance measures and 101 indicators. These requirements include measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests with exceptional conservation value.

• The Fibre Sourcing Standard promotes responsible forestry practices based on 14 principles, 13 objectives, 21 performance measures and 55 indicators that address the 90 per cent of the world’s forests that are not certified. These fibre sourcing requirements include measures to broaden the conservation of biodiversity, use forestry best management practices to protect water quality, provide outreach to landowners and utilize the services of forest management and harvesting professionals. Because it directs how SFI program participants procure fibre from non-certified land, this standard encourages the use of responsible forestry practices.

The Chain of Custody Standard tracks the percentage of fibre from certified forests, certified sourcing and recycled content through production and manufacturing to the end product. Organizations can use physical separation, average percentage or volume credit methods to track and communicate their chain of custody claims. The SFI Chain of Custody standard is applied globally.

According to the Canfor website, Canfor’s Vavenby operations are not certified by SFI, although the company’s operations in the southern U.S. are.

The company’s Forest License 18 (locally known as “The Management”) and its Forest License A18688 are certified under Canadian Standards Association’s CAN/CSA Z808 standard.

Canfor’s forest management system is certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) under its environmental management standard 14001.

Thirteen of Canfor’s sawmills (including Vavenby) plus three of its sawmills are certified to the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) chain of custody standard.