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.
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