Certifications and Product Safety

At Sappi, we seek out only the most credible third-party certification standards and affiliations.

What is forest certification?

Forest certification is a well-established and important tool which enables conscious consumers to choose responsibly-sourced wood-based products. For Sappi North America, forest certification provides assurances to our consumers that the wood fiber used to manufacture our products originates from responsibly managed forests and has been legally harvested in accordance with sound environmental practices, and that social aspects such as indigenous rights have been taken into account.  Forest certification underpins our commitment to continuous improvement, our focus on being an environmentally responsible company operating according to the principles of sustainable forest management and our efforts to provide our customers with products that are responsibly sourced.

The leading global forestry certification systems recognize that sustainably-managed forests make vital contributions to society by providing economic, environmental and social benefits indispensable to our quality of life.  These certification systems ensure that responsible forest management practices are implemented in the forest and that wood fiber from certified forests can be identified throughout the supply chain. Certification systems establish specific wood fiber sourcing, production and marketing requirements for certified organizations; provide a framework for third-party annual auditing by accredited certification bodies; and govern the use of promotional and product claims and logos.

As is the case with many consumer products, multiple certification systems exist for forest products, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program, the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). A certificate from one of these systems indicates conformance to the certification standards, thereby assuring that woodfiber used in the products originates from well-managed forests.

CoC certification is a mechanism for tracking certified material from the forest to the final product. CoC certification helps to ensure and demonstrate responsible sourcing; and helps consumers to make responsible purchasing decisions. CoC claims are only valid if each link in the chain is certified. For a final product to qualify for CoC claims, all entities who take legal ownership of the material/product along the supply chain must be CoC-certified to ensure an unbroken chain from the certified forest to the final certified wood-based products. Independent third-party accredited certification bodies conduct CoC audits to verify that an entity’s wood flow accounting system conforms to applicable forest certification systems’ CoC standards. For more information, please refer to Sappi’s Forest Certification FAQ.

Sappi’s Commitment to Forest Certifications

At Sappi, we seek out only the most credible third-party certification standards and affiliations.

All of Sappi North America's mills are certified in accordance with the leading global sustainable forestry chain of custody (CoC) certification systems. Our Cloquet, Somerset, Westbrook and Matane Mills are FSC® (FSC-C014955) and PEFC (PEFC/29-31-10) CoC certified. Sappi North America's U.S.-based paper and packaging Cloquet and Somerset mills are also certified to the SFI® CoC standard and the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard for wood procurement operations. We are proud to be associated with these organizations and their efforts to drive sustainable business practices. We promote the increased use of certified woodfibre throughout our supply and value chains, and work with credible, internationally recognized, robust systems described above, which give equal assurance of the origin of woodfibre and responsible forest management practices. Our goal is to offer our customers a wide basket of products that are certified by at least one independent third-party credible system.  

In addition, all products manufactured and distributed (or sold) by Sappi North America are compliant with the Lacey Act. For more information, please refer to Sappi’s 'Our certifications' FAQ.

Sappi North America’s Fiber Sourcing Practices

Since Sappi does not own any forests in North America, we are fully dependent on outside suppliers for wood. Using third party programs helps to assure Sappi and our customers that our wood suppliers are adhering to responsible forestry practices. However, only about 11% of the world’s forests are certified and certification is expensive and at times not financially viable for small farmers and private forest landowners in our supply chains. Therefore, Sappi implements rigorous tracing practices to confirm and document the origin of wood fiber. In addition, suppliers must provide evidence that all wood fiber is sourced from controlled, non-controversial sources. Sappi does not use woodfibre from endangered tropical forests.

Globally, all wood and pulp sourced for Sappi meet the requirements of the FSC Controlled Wood standard at a minimum. There are five categories of unacceptable wood fiber that cannot be mixed with our materials:

  • Illegally harvested wood;
  • Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights;
  • Wood harvested in forests in which high conservation values (HCVs) are threatened by management activities;
  • Wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or nonforest use; and
  • Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.

For Sappi’s U.S.-based paper and packaging mills, all wood and pulp purchases must also meet the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard which has additional requirements beyond avoiding controversial sources. These requirements include landowner outreach; use of qualified resource and qualified logging professionals; investment in forest research; as well as adherence to best management practices.

To learn more, please visit Sappi North America's Sustainable Forestry page, Sappi Limited’s Woodfibre Procurement Policy, and Sappi’s Why Forests Matter FAQ.

Certification Programs


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. FSC independently tracks, traces and identifies wood fibers from the forest through every step of the procurement, manufacturing and printing process, confirming that each supplier in the chain follows rigorous controls, management and reporting practices.


The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. (SFI®) is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management.  SFI is governed by a three-chamber Board of Directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. The SFI program includes a system of objectives and performance measures which integrate the sustained growing and harvesting of trees and the protection of water and soil quality, biological diversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value. 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 by training loggers and foresters to effectively implement best management practices to protect soil and water quality, supporting research, and broadening the practice of sustainable forestry through landowner outreach and community involvement. The SFI program includes a comprehensive set of standards covering forest management, wood and fiber procurement practices, and the manufacturing and sale of forest-based products in the United States and Canada.


The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification. Established in 1999 by small family forest owners from Europe, PEFC is comprised of a global alliance of national forest certification systems and is the largest forest certification system in the world. PEFC endorses national forest certification systems developed through multi-stakeholder processes and tailored to local priorities and conditions that meet specific global criteria. PEFC believes that forest certification needs to be local; this is why PEFC chooses to work with national organizations to advance responsible forestry. PEFC provides forest owners, from the large to the small, with a tool to demonstrate their responsible practices, while empowering consumers and companies to buy sustainably. By recognizing and endorsing more than 39 certification systems globally, including the SFI program and the Canadian Standards Association, PEFC has developed a system of mutually recognized certifications where similar rules and standards are shared and implemented globally.


The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS®) is a program designed to sustain forests, watershed and healthy habitats through private stewardship. Currently, ATFS is a network of 74,000 family forest owners sustainably managing 20.5 million acres of forestland in 44 states. Administered by the American Forest Foundation, ATFS is the largest and oldest sustainable woodland system in the United States. 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 PEFC.

Management System Certifications
In addition to forest stewardship certifications, Sappi’s Cloquet, Somerset and Westbrook Mills are certified to the following management system standards that help ensure stewardship across aspects critical to our customers, employees, and communities:
  • ISO 9001 Quality Management
  • ISO 14001 Environmental Management
  • ISO 22000 Food Safety Management (Somerset Mill only)
  • ISO 45001 Health and Safety Management
Sappi Global Certification Library
Search for and download specific certificates of interest in our global certification library.
Product Safety and Compliance
Our focus on health and safety extends to the design of our products. We are happy to provide customers with product safety data sheets and compliance statements that address a range of topics, including:
  • Allergens
  • California Proposition 65 (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986)
  • Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA) – limits on lead and phthalates
  • FDA Compliance - Proto®, Proto Litho®, LusterBag®, LusterCote®, LusterFSB®, LusterPlate®, and Spectro® are compliant for contact with food in certain applications. Please contact your Sappi representative for product-specific FDA compliance and product safety statements.
  • Heavy metals and conflict minerals (CONEG, Model Toxics in Packaging, European Council 94/62/EC, Dodd-Frank Act)
  • Lacey Act – bans commerce in illegally sourced plants or products made with them.
  • REACH European Commission regulation (Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals)
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
For More Information
For questions about these statements or for more information, click here to contact a Sappi representative.
Sappi promotes an inclusive approach to forestry certification and educates customers and end-users on the value that certification brings. Certification provides assurances that our wood fiber is sourced from well-managed forests, through sustainable forestry practices to ensure that biodiversity, soil and water quality, forest health and the needs of local communities are met for current and future generations. Forestry is an art and a science that involves management of the forest and people in order to achieve balanced objectives.
Rebecca Barnard, Manager, Forestry Certification
Sappi Certifications
Our Cloquet, Somerset and Westbrook Mills are FSC® (FSC-C014955), SFI® and PEFC (PEFC/29-31-10) chain of custody certified. Sappi’s Matane Mill is FSC® (FSC-C151943) and PEFC (PEFC/26-31-135) chain of custody certified.