By Kathy|2020-09-21T11:41:04-04:00December 21st, 2017|Categories: Blog|
At the end of each year, SFI takes time to give thanks, reflect on the past year, and look forward to the next year. We continue to work with a diverse network to expand our reach and commitment to future forests. We encourage you to review our two-page scorecard of our 2017 successes and partnerships.
I am proud of the SFI community for promoting responsible supply chains, elevating the conservation values associated with working forests across landscapes, and being committed to education and community engagement. Together, we stand for future forests.
Here are some of our 2017 highlights:
Project Learning Tree (PLT) became a program of SFI – PLT is an award-winning environmental education program that uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase youth understanding of the environment. PLT will help us develop the next generation of forest and conservation leaders and we are already seeking ways to expand PLT and leverage our networks. We also established PLT Canada as a nonprofit in August.
SFI Surpasses 300 Million Acres – Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard now equal 305 million acres/123 million hectares in North America. This includes more than 20 million new acres/8 million hectares certified in 2017. The SFI Forest Management Standard represents a quarter of all certified lands globally and the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard positively impacts millions of acres of additional lands.
Consumer Recognition of SFI Increases from 36% to 41% – Consumer recognition of SFI is higher than for any other forest certification standard, according to surveys of 20,000 U.S. consumers by the Natural Marketing Institute.
More than 20% of Fortune 100 Companies Use the SFI Label – Displaying the SFI logo helps consumers make good choices for forests.
SFI Expands Green Building Market Access – Smartlam and Structurlam are the first two manufacturers of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to be certified to the the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. These companies can use certification to position themselves as suppliers in the green building market. Wood and paper products certified to SFI are now eligible to earn LEED or Green Globe credits. In addition, 92 two secondary manufacturers of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA) simultaneously earned certification to the SFI 2015-2021 Chain-of-Custody (COC) Standard making it the largest single group certified to the SFI COC Standard at once.
PEFC Recognition of the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard – This recognition of SFI in PEFC’s Chain-of-Custody certification helps provide market access to SFI Program Participants who sell products in nearly 130 countries.
The SFI Forest Partners Program at 9.2 Million Acres – As we wrap up the first phase of this program, we have 9.2 million acres certified/confirmed. State lands in Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas were certified in 2017. This certification along with the ongoing support of our program funders Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers, Pearson, and Hearst made this success possible. In 2018, we plan to extend the SFI Forest Partners Program across the U.S. and Canada to increase forest management, fiber sourcing and chain-of-custody certification.
SFI Partners to Quantify the Conservation Impact of SFI’s Footprint – This initiative focuses on developing metrics for carbon storage, climate change mitigation, water quality and biodiversity on lands certified to SFI standards as well as larger landscapes influenced by positive programs including the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. Quantifying these environmental benefits will promote understanding of the conservation values associated with sustainably managed forests. SFI organized the SFI Conservation Impact Sounding Board, an informal group of scientists, drawn from academia, public agencies, and the non-profit conservation community, to guide the project. Participating organizations at the 2017 Sounding Board meeting included: SFI Program Participants, Virginia Tech, Nature Conservancy of Canada, American Forest Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, American Bird Conservancy, Saskatchewan Research Council, Canadian Forest Service, NatureServe, American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the U.S. Forest Service.
The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program Continues to Expand – SFI conservation grants feature collaboration from 37 different groups with a focus on carbon storage, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value. SFI community grants feature collaboration from 50 different groups with a focus on projects that engage local communities through a variety of initiatives including youth outreach, supporting Indigenous values, forest education programs, and green building projects for low-income families.
Indigenous Engagement in the SFI Community Keeps Growing – In 2017 Obishikokaang Resources Corporation certified more than 1 million hectares to the SFI Standard. This enhances forestry operations, sustainability and economic development for the Lac Seul First Nation in Northern Ontario. In addition, TimberWest became the first SFI Program Participant to be certified under the Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program.
SFI and Habitat for Humanity Continue to Partner – In 2017, Mark Rodgers, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada became chair of the SFI Board of Directors and we continue to work together at the national and local levels to expand our impact. We worked with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa to organize Women in Wood, Indigenous and Youth Build Days in Ottawa over the summer. We also have a strong partnership to grow the Habitat for Humanity Indigenous Housing Program.
Annual Conference, held in Ottawa, in recognition of Canada’s 150th – This year was the largest SFI Annual Conference ever and it featured a joint session with the Canadian Institute of Forestry attended by over 500 people. The event featured a variety of international speakers and SFI awarded Maine the SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award, J.D. Irving (JDI) the SFI Leadership in Conservation Award, and Craig Blair the SFI President’s Award. The event also recognized Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the 151st Woman for Nature. For more details on the event, see our conference wrap up, and check out our conference video.
Save the date and attend our 2018 Annual Conferencein Colorado, Oct. 16-18. It promises to be yet another landmark in the growth of the SFI community.
In 2018, SFI will continue to find new ways to collaborate and communicate directly with our network. We value your ideas and input and congratulate you for all you do on behalf of forests, our communities and our shared quality of life.
SFI UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19
Dear SFI Community,
I’d like to share an update from SFI on our strategies to ensure smooth operations as well as some adjustments we have made with regards to upcoming events in light of COVID-19. The following reflects our best efforts to keep our teams and our interactions with our community as safe and healthy as possible, and to provide you with some certainty with regards to upcoming events and dates.
REACHING SFI STAFF
SFI staff continue to be fully operational and able to support any needs or questions you may have about SFI programs. In order to ensure the health and safety of our team, all SFI employees are currently working remotely and we have the systems in place to allow us to be fully accessible by email, phone, and video call. You can find contact information for staff on our website or can send general inquiries to email@example.com.
SFI AUDIT GUIDANCE
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFI/PLT MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS
In order to prioritize the health and safety of our community and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, SFI is canceling all scheduled in-person meetings and workshops through June, with alternative virtual arrangements being developed, as follows:
PROJECT LEARNING TREE CANADA GREEN JOBS SUMMIT
The planned March 23-24 Summit has been redesigned as an e-summit on March 23, bringing youth together from across Canada to discuss green career pathways.
CONSERVATION IMPACT SOUNDING BOARD WORKSHOP
The planned May 20-21 workshop will be redesigned as a webinar on May 20 focused on the intersection of Conservation Impact research and the developing 2022 SFI Standards, with a particular focus on carbon and climate change.
PROJECT LEARNING TREE COORDINATORS’ CONFERENCE
The planned June 8-12 conference in Bremerton, WA, has been postponed until 2021 at the same location. In lieu of the 2020 conference, plans are underway to host a one-day virtual event on June 10 or 11 offering professional development and networking to the PLT Coordinators and partners.
STANDARD REVISION WORKSHOPS
These May/June workshops were designed as regional opportunities to comment on proposed revisions and enhancements to the SFI Standards. SFI still plans to release the next draft Standards by May 1 and conduct a 60-day comment period through the end of June. Instead of the in-person workshops, we will conduct dedicated webinars focused on specific themes and requirements in the Standards, as follows:
Logger Training and Education
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Conservation of Biological Diversity
Chain of Custody, SFI Labels and Claims, and Controversial Sources
SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE REGIONAL MEETINGS
These May/June meetings were planned to coincide with the Standard Revision Workshops and were designed to provide opportunities for SIC members to engage on bi-national SFI priorities and share best practices across committees. These will instead be conducted as regional webinars, with dates coming soon.
Join SFI’s E-Summit, Growing Solutions, to share ideas about how sustainably managed forests, and products sourced from those forests, are great tools in moving towards shared sustainability goals.
This year, SFI is hosting a one-day E-Summit on October 22 to bring our network together to engage around the work SFI is doing across its 4 pillars to achieve our mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations.
We appreciate your continued support of SFI and look forward to connecting with you through one of these many opportunities.