The Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s label approves environmentally irresponsible forestry practices. Despite its ‘Good for you. Good for our forests.’ logo, the SFI program certifies logging practices that have a disastrous impact on North American forests. Here’s an example: SFI’s rules do not require any work to restore forests that are essential for the survival of rare wildlife.
The average clearcut approved by SFI is the size of 90 football fields. Whether it’s the average SFI-approved clearcut, or bigger, the damage to watersheds, water quality and soil productivity are often permanent. SFI allows excessive use of toxic chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that contaminate fresh water.
The SFI certification program actually assures its timber company customers that it does not prohibit logging in old growth forests, wild areas that do not currently have roads, or other places in which ecological values are especially rich.
SFI’s greenwashing harms forests. And SFI’s greenwash also undermines the hard work of those trying to protect forests, or create a more forest-friendly product.
So far, 24 major US companies have distanced their brands from the SFI label, moving millions of dollars in buying power away from forest destruction.