The phony SFI certification program – developed and funded by some of the biggest forest destroyers in North America – is a marketing tool for selling environmentally harmful products by falsely describing them as ‘green’. This scam threatens our forests, communities, fresh water and wildlife.

Expose "Sustainable" Forestry Initiative's Greenwash

© David E Perry

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.

View the SFI slideshow
Learn more in our SFI photo essay >>

View our report on the SFI


ForestEthics files IRS and FTC complaints on SFI's greenwash label
It misleads consumers, serves private interests

SFI Map of Influence
Wood and paper industry dominates SFI's Board of Directors

Major environmental groups opposed SFI greenwashPDF icon
In sign-on letter, ForestEthics and 20 others challenge SFI