SFI ON-PRODUCT LABELS

are recognized globally and help customers choose products from responsibly managed forests. Over 25% of Fortune 100 companies use the SFI on product label.

The SFI Certified Sourcing label and claim do not make claims about certified forest content. They tell buyers and consumers that fiber in a product comes from a company that is certified to the SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing Standard, or comes from recycled content, or from a certified forest. All fiber must be from non-controversial sources. Certified sourcing is a defined term in SFI Definitions 2022 Standards and Rules.

SFI Chain-of-Custody labels allow the use of fiber from certified forest content, certified sourcing and recycled content. All these terms are defined in SFI Definitions (Section 14, SFI 2022 Standards and Rules. Certified forest content can include fiber certified under the SFI Forest Management Standard, the Canadian Standards Association (CAN/CSA-Z809 and CAN/CSA-Z804) and/or the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) individual and group certification.

More guidance and information on SFI labels and claims is included in the Rules for Use of SFI On-Product Labels and Off-Product Marks (Section 6).

SFI also has a SFI label that recognizes global standards. Click here for more information.

A note on label usage: Organizations that want to use SFI program labels must contact the SFI Office of Label Use and Licensing, which must approve the use of all SFI labels and claims.

SFI CERTIFIED SOURCING LABEL AND CLAIM

The SFI Certified Sourcing label and claim do not make claims about certified forest content. They tell buyers and consumers that company that is certified to the SFI 2022 Certified Sourcing Standard, or comes from recycled content, or from a certified forest. All fiber must be from non-controversial sources.

Any primary or secondary producer who wants to use the Certified Sourcing label (shown here) must be certified to the SFI 2022 Certified Sourcing.

Certified sourcing is defined in SFI Definitions (Section 14, SFI 2022) Standards and Rules.
The definition lists all the fiber inputs that can count toward the use of the Certified Sourcing label:

Certified sourcing: Raw material sourced from the following sources confirmed by a certification body:

  • Fiber that conforms with the SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing Standard; and/or
  • Pre-Consumer Recycled Content: Forest and tree-based material recovered from waste during a manufacturing process. Excluded is reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it. Excluded are by-products resulting from primary production processes, such as sawmilling by-products (sawdust, chips, bark, etc.) or forestry residues (bark, chips from branches, roots, etc.) as they are not considered waste.Any claims about pre-consumer recycled content by SFI-certified organizations or label users shall be accurate and consistent with applicable law. SFI-certified organizations and label users are encouraged to consult the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines on environmental claims in product advertising and communication and the guidelines on environmental labeling and advertising issued by the Fair Business Practices Branch of Industry Canada’s Competition Bureau, as appropriate, and to seek additional information and direction from national accreditation bodies, national standards bodies and national, state and provincial consumer protection and competition laws; and/or
  • Post-Consumer Recycled Content: Forest and tree-based material generated by households or by commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product which can no longer be used for its intended purpose. This includes returns of material from the distribution chain and material from salvage from demolition.Any claims about post-consumer recycled content by SFI-certified organizations and label users shall be accurate and consistent with applicable law. SFI-certified organizations and label users are encouraged to consult the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines on environmental claims in product advertising and communication and the guidelines on environmental labeling and advertising issued by the Fair Business Practices Branch of Industry Canada’s Competition Bureau, as appropriate, and to seek additional information and direction from national accreditation bodies, national standards bodies, and national, state and provincial consumer protection and competition laws; and/or
  • Certified forest content: Includes content from specific forest tracts that are third-party certified to conform with the SFI 2022 Forest Management Standard or other acceptable forest management standards (e.g., CAN/CSA-Z809, CAN/CSA-Z804, and ATFS); and/or
  • Non-controversial sources: If the raw material is sourced from outside of the United States and Canada, the organization shall establish adequate measures to ensure that the labeled products do not come from controversial sources. See Section 4, Part 7 or Section 5, Part 7 on the process to avoid controversial sources. Up to one third of the supply for secondary producers can come from non-controversial sources for use of the Certified Sourcing label; the other two-thirds must come from the sources defined under the certified sourcing definition — fiber that conforms with the SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing
    Standard, and/or pre-consumer recycled content, and/or post-consumer recycled content, and/or certified forest content.

SFI CERTIFIED CHAIN-OF-CUSTODY LABELS AND CLAIMS

The SFI program has Certified Chain-of-Custody labels, each communicating that a chain of custody has been third-party certified. The Chain-of-Custody labels track fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and recycled content. All these terms are defined in SFI Definitions (Section 14, 2022 Standards and Rules). In order to use any of the Chain-of-Custody labels, a company must be independently certified by a competent and accredited certification body.

Chain-of-Custody Label for Credit Method

Under the credit method, an organization can only make claims or use the SFI label on the amount of certified input (certified forest content and/or recycled content) they have. So if the input of certified content is 30%, the organization can only make claims or use the SFI label on 30% of the output. This is consistent with all global chain-of-custody standards.

The labels used for the credit method are shown below. If recycled content is used, then the label must state “Promoting Sustainable Forestry and Recycled Content.” If there is no recycled content, then the label must simply state “Promoting Sustainable Forestry.”

If an organization does not meet the 70% threshold, it must transparently disclose the actual percentage of certified forest content or recycled material on the product label. The following two labels may be used by any chain-of-custody certificate holder that drops below the 70% threshold and uses the percentage chain-of-custody method.

The terms on these labels are defined in SFI Definitions (Section 14, SFI 2022 Standards and Rules):

Chain-of-Custody Labels for Percentage Method

The percentage method allows manufacturers to label 100% of their product with the SFI Certified Chain-of-Custody label. If an organization wishes to use the SFI chain-of-custody label or make a chain-of-custody claim on 100% of an organization’s product, the content must be at least 70% composed of certified forest content and/or recycled material. If recycled content is not used, then the label must just state “Promoting Sustainable Forestry.”

The terms on these labels are defined in SFI Definitions (Section 14, SFI 2022 Standards and Rules):

In addition, the SFI 2022  Forest Management Standard and SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing Standard are based on 13 principles for sustainable forestry.

Adding the Mobius Loop

If a chain-of-custody certificate holder uses recycled content, they can choose to incorporate a Mobius loop showing the percentage of recycled content in the product. Below are examples of the Chain-of-Custody label with the Mobius loop.

Recycled content includes pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content. These are defined terms in SFI Definitions (Section 14, SFI 2202 Standards and Rules).

Other Items on SFI Labels

Below is a list of other items that must appear on SFI labels.

  1. The SFI website is always mandatory.
  2. Either the words “Sustainable Forestry Initiative” or “SFI” are always mandatory.
  3. The label ID number is always mandatory.
  4. When the product is not 100 percent certified, the label must clearly communicate what portion of the product the label applies to (e.g., “This label only applies to the cover stock”).
  5. When selling the product as SFI chain-of-custody certified, the SFI chain-of-custody certificate number must be communicated to the customer at the time of sale. Communication methods include, but are not limited to, invoices, bills of lading, shipping documents and letters.