What is certification?​

As is the case with many consumer products, forest products (wood and paper) can be certified by 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 regarding one of these organization's standards certifies that the products are coming from well-managed, sustainable forests. If you are interested in pursuing forest certification for your woodlot, our experienced foresters can help you with this process by developing a management plan for your woodlot and assisting you with the required documentation.

Certification Programs

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 1990 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™ is the world's largest forest certification system. Using multi-stakeholder processes, the organization develops forest management certification standards and schemes which have been signed by 37 nations in Europe and other inter-governmental processes for sustainable forestry management around the world. By recognizing and endorsing more than 20 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.

We are all becoming more aware about the full life cycle of products and the impact that our decisions make on the environment. Each step of the process - where materials come from, how they are manufactured and how products are used - has an effect. Environmentally responsible papermaking starts with sourcing wood from responsible land owners.
Laura Thompson, Ph.D., Director Sustainable Development, Sappi North America