What is certification?​

As is the case with many consumer products, forest products (wood and paper) can be certified to a number of third party standards, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC), American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). A third-party certification audit against one of these organization's standards provides assurances that the products are coming from well-managed forests.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®) program is a comprehensive system of objectives and performance measures which integrate the sustained growing and harvesting of trees and the protection of plants and animals. It is based on the premise that responsible environmental behavior and sound business decisions can co-exist. SFI program participants practice sustainable forestry on all lands they manage and influence millions of additional acres through the training of loggers and foresters in best management practices and landowner outreach programs. Its standards cover forest management and wood and fiber procurement practices in the United States and Canada.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®). Established in 1994 by an international group of timber users, traders and representatives from human rights and environmental organizations, the FSC is a non-profit entity that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. This was achieved through the creation of an auditing system to inspect and verify that a forest was operated in accordance with FSC standards.

The PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is the world's largest forest certification system. Using multi-stakeholder processes, the organization develops forest management certification standards and schemes promoted by 49 national members in Europe and other inter-governmental processes for sustainable forestry management around the world. By recognizing and endorsing more than 39 certification systems globally, including the SFI and the Canadian Standards Association, the PEFC has developed a system of mutually recognized certifications where similar rules and standards are shared and implemented globally.

The American Tree Farm System® is a network of 74,000 family forest owners sustainably managing 20.5 million acres of forestland.  ATFS is the largest and oldest sustainable woodland system in the United States, internationally recognized, meeting strict third-party certification standards.  The American Tree Farm System® is a program of the American Forest Foundation. For 75 years, ATFS has enhanced the quality of America’s woodlands by giving forest owners the tools they need to keep their forests healthy and productive. Stemming the loss of America’s woodlands is vital to our country’s clean water and air, wildlife habitat, recreational activities, and producing the jobs, wood and paper products we all need. The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) certification program is internationally endorsed by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).