Sustainable Forestry Initiative

About SFI: Guiding Principles

The Sustainable Forestry initiative (SFI) program is based on 14 principles. Principle No. 1 is the defining element of the SFI program, and the other thirteen principles flow from that statement:

  1. Sustainable Forestry – To practice sustainable forestry to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs; practicing a land stewardship ethic that integrates reforestation and the growing and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air and water quality, biological diversity, wildlife and aquatic habitat, recreation and aesthetics.
  2. Forest Productivity and Health – To provide for regeneration after harvest and maintain the productive capacity of the forest land base, and to protect and maintain long-term forest health and soil productivity. In addition, to protect forests from economically or environmentally undesirable levels of wildfire, pests, diseases, invasive exotic plants and animals, and other damaging agents and thus maintain and improve long-term forest health and productivity.
  3. Protection of Water Resources – To protect water bodies and riparian zones, and to conform with best management practices to protect water quality.
  4. Protection of Biological Diversity – To manage forests in ways that protect and promote biological diversity, including animal and plant species, wildlife habitats, and ecological or natural community types.
  5. Aesthetics and Recreation – To manage the visual impacts of forest operations, and to provide recreational opportunities for the public.
  6. Protection of Special Sites – To manage lands that are ecologically, geologically or culturally important in a manner that takes into account their unique qualities.
  7. Responsible Fiber Sourcing Practices in North America – To use and promote among other forest landowners sustainable forestry practices that are both scientifically credible and economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
  8. Legal Compliance – To comply with applicable federal, provincial, state, and local forestry and related environmental laws, statutes, and regulations.
  9. Research – To support advances in sustainable forest management through forestry research, science and technology.
  10. Training and Education – To improve the practice of sustainable forestry through training and education programs.
  11. Public Involvement – To broaden the practice of sustainable forestry on public lands through community involvement, socially responsible practices, and through recognition and respect of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional forest-related knowledge.
  12. Transparency – To broaden the understanding of forest certification to the SFI Standards by documenting certification audits and making the findings publicly available.
  13. Continual Improvement – To continually improve the practice of forest management, and to monitor, measure and report performance in achieving the commitment to sustainable forestry.
  14. Avoidance of Controversial Sources including Illegal Logging in Offshore Fiber Sourcing* – To avoid wood fiber from illegally logged forests when procuring fiber outside of North America, and to avoid sourcing fiber from countries without effective social laws. (*applies only to the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard)

View or download the complete SFI Standard now.