Contributing to new SFI forest-certification standards that promote global sustainability

Forest certification provides assurance that the woodfibre used for our products originates from responsibly-managed forests and our efforts to provide our customers with products made with woodfibre that is responsibly sourced, originating from controlled, non-controversial sources.

The Sustainable Forest Initiative (FSI) is a nonprofit organisation that advances sustainability through forest-focused collaboration and manages one of the largest forest certification standards in the world. Nearly 2 300 people and organisations participated in the development of the SFI 2022 standards, and Sappi provided prominent leadership and direct engagement in the process: Rebecca Barnard, Forestry Certification Manager for Sappi North America, chaired the SFI Fibre Sourcing Standards Revision Task Group.

Continuous improvement is critical for the sustained success of forest certification. Between 2019 and 2021, SFI embarked on a transparent, inclusive, collaborative, and comprehensive effort to revise and expand SFI standards with an emphasis on improved clarity for certificate holders and the incorporation of the best-available science and emerging issues. The SFI 2022 standards now align with many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

SFI included input from the conservation community, indigenous communities, the forest products sector, brand owners, forest landowners and managers, government agencies, trade associations, landowner associations, academia and the public.

Sappi is implementing the revised standards detailed below in coordination with our suppliers.

Climate-smart forestry (new)

Forests play a key role in the carbon cycle and with proper management can be one of the most effective nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. SFI-certified organisations will now be required to ensure forest management activities address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

Biodiversity conservation (enhanced)

Enhancements in the Forest Management Standard ensure that landscape-scale analyses and research inform management decisions. By linking management decisions to analyses of landscape conditions and biodiversity conservation goals, managers will be better able to respond to the needs of wide-ranging species, the distribution of ecologically important natural communities and the role of the managed area toward attaining critical biodiversity outcomes.

Noncertified landowners represent the majority of the fibre supply in the United States. A new requirement in the Fibre Sourcing Standard requires SFI-certified organisations to conduct an assessment of imperilled species and native plant communities across their wood and fibre supply areas to better conserve biodiversity at both local and landscape levels.

Logger training (enhanced)

Logger training has been a key component of SFI since 1995. Loggers who are aware of their responsibility as professionals are better equipped to protect the environment. SFI-certified organisations must maximise the use of and accept raw-material deliveries from qualified logging professionals.