7 Major Corporations Dump Shady Sustainable Forestry Initiative

According to reports from ForestEthics, seven major U.S. corporations have distanced themselves from the less-than-trustworthy Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Although its name implies that the initiative would help protect forests from harmful logging practices, SFI’s track record leaves something to be desired.

The corporate exodus is attributed to a report titled “SFI: Certified Greenwash,” which exposes the labeling organization’s false claims and inadequate standards to protect forests. Worse than their slack standards is the fact that virtually all of SFI’s funding comes from the companies or investment groups that own or manage the 160 million acres of land in North America that the SFI certifies. This means that the companies seeking certification by SFI are the same companies making the rules.

Twenty-one environmental organizations, including Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth, have joined ForestEthics in publicly demonstrating that SFI has no credibility with North America’s leading organizations dedicated to protecting the environment.

As a result, US Airways, Shutterfly, Energizer, Allied Electronics, Phillips Van Heusen, Pitney Bowes and Ruby Tuesday recently announced that they will stop using the Sustainable Forestry Initiative seal on their products. These companies join a trend that began last year when fourteen prominent brands—including AT&T, Office Depot, United Stationers and Allstate—made commitments to phase out or eliminate the use of SFI’s logo on products or in public communications. Many have also pledged to move their support to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) program (for more on differences between the two, click here).

Here are the specific actions to be taken by each corporation:

  • Ruby Tuesday has made a commitment to avoid any use or promotion of the SFI logo and name in conjunction with Ruby Tuesday’s brand, products or services.
  • Phillips Van Heusen will maintain a strong preference for FSC certified products and will avoid using or promoting the SFI.
  • Shutterfly will give preference to FSC certified products in all new paper purchases and will avoid reference to the SFI program in its external communications.
  • Pitney Bowes will give preference to FSC certified products in all new paper purchases for its own internal use and will avoid reference to the SFI program in its external communications.
  • Allied Electronics changed its catalog paper from SFI to FSC.
  • Energizer has committed to stop using the SFI logo.
  • US Airways has committed to avoid any use or promotion of the SFI logo or SFI certified products.

Related Reading:

Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants Entire Forest

Erasable E-paper Can Be Used Over 250 Times

Administration Releases New Blueprint For National Forests

 

Image via Thinkstock

32 comments

Dianne D.
Dianne D.4 years ago

Good thing there are watch dog organizations around watching these things, but I have such little respect for corporations anymore that if they are all going to one organization I would be wary as corporations are greedy and the move would be to benefit themselves and no one else.

Dave C.
Dave C.4 years ago

thanks for good reminder of which one I should support, too....I think I have been okay so far....

Valentina R.
Valentina R.4 years ago

A small step is better than nothing.

Arild Warud
Arild Warud4 years ago

Great info,thanks.

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson4 years ago

It's a small start in a very big pond. Ripple affects are great.

Clint B.
Clint B.4 years ago

Good & thankyou to all these people who work so darn hard to expose these immoral companies & to bring awareness to other companies & us the public. Cheers.

nicola w.
Nicola W.4 years ago

Hemp please !

Jonathan Netherton

@Carol: I'd prefer my paper to come from recycled paper and hemp. Or that transistor paper Sony's working on.

Ian Fletcher
Ian Fletcher4 years ago

More fenced off protected virgin forest and more forest guards.
We must save natural ecosystems while we still can.
I'm not refering to the logging industry, which makes artificial woodland with little biodiversity.

Carol P.
Carol P.4 years ago

It's too bad that companies who try to do the right thing end up getting bamboozled in some way or another.

However, we should also cut the North American lumber industry a little bit of slack, especially when you compare their practices to the rest of the world. Would you prefer your furniture or paper to come from trees taken from the Amazonian rain forest that is left bare after or used for grazing cows, or land that is being managed specifically for timber, new trees planted as mature trees are cut down?