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SFI® - Chain of Custody Certification

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A Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Chain of Custody certificate for products proves that the wooden parts of your certified products are possible to trace back to certified forest content, certified sourcing & recycled content.

SFI® Chain of Custody

SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard is an accounting system that tracks forest fiber content (certified forest content, certified sourcing & recycled content) through production and manufacturing to the end product. Chain of custody (COC) certification allows companies that manufacture and market forest products to label them with the SFI brand.

What is SFI?

SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program.

Across Canada and the United States,  285 million acres (115 million hectares) are certified to the SFI forest management standard, the largest single forest standard in the world. 

The SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. 

There are two different types of SFI on-product labels:

SFI Chain-of-Custody Labels 

The X% SFI COC label discloses the actual amount of fiber from certified forest content, certified sourcing or recycled material. These labels may be used by any SFI chain-of-custody certified organization that meets a minimum threshold of 70% certified forest material or recycled material. 

SFI Certified Sourcing Label

The SFI certified sourcing label does not make claims about certified forest content, but tells you that the fibers in a product come from a company that is certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, or come from recycled content, or from a certified forest.  All fibers must be from non-controversial sources.

Any company that processes or trades SFI-certified forest products, including manufacturers of forest products, paper merchants, brokers, printers and publishers, is eligible to seek certification to the SFI 2015-2019 SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. The company must have processes in place to track the source of its raw materials, such as inventory control, employee training, reporting and invoicing.  

There are two ways to utilize the SFI certified sourcing label:

  • Primary producers – manufacturers sourcing more than half of their fiber directly from the forest – must meet the requirements of the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard. Primary manufacturers wishing to make a claim of SFI Certified Sourcing or use the SFI Certified Sourcing Label must also satisfy the requirements of Appendix 1 of the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard.
  • Secondary producers – such as furniture manufacturers sourcing more than half of their fiber from secondary sources – who want to make a claim of SFI Certified Sourcing or use the SFI Certified Fiber Sourcing label must satisfy the requirements of Appendix 1 of the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard. This means they account for at least two-thirds of their fiber as meeting SFI certified sourcing requirements – as noted above. The other one-third cannot come from controversial sources, which include illegal logging and areas without effective social laws.

Where do I go from here?

For third party certification, you need to implement an effective environmental management system complying with the requirements of the standard. You will also find the relevant standards on the SFI homepage.

DNV GL - Business Assurance is a third party certification body that provides SFI CoC certification.

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