US Airways, Shutterfly, Energizer, Allied Electronics, Phillips Van Heusen, Pitney Bowes and Ruby Tuesday will stop using the Sustainable Forestry Initiative seal on their products, marking a growing exodus from the eco-label, according to non-profit ForestEthics.
To date, 21 major brands have distanced themselves from SFI, ForestEthics says. Many of these companies also have made commitments to shift over to products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
For example, Shutterfly says it will give preference to FSC-certified products in all of its new paper purchases, and Pitney Bowes will give preference to FSC in all new paper purchases for internal use Both will avoid reference to the SFI program in external communications.
Two years ago, ForestEthics published SFI: Certified Greenwash, which criticized the eco-label program for what the non-profit called inadequate standards to protect forests. The report claimed that SFI, funded and managed by the some of the world’s largest timber companies, approves large-scale operations that impair fish and wildlife habitat, cause landslides and pollute water. ForestEthics also filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and Internal Revenue Service alleging that SFI misleads the public through deceptive marketing and operates as a nonprofit public charity even though it primarily serves private for-profit interest.
Office Depot and Kimberly-Clark Professional were among the first companies to drop the SFI label. The anti-SFI movement grew last March when seven companies includes Allstate and Aetna made commitments to stop using the SFI label. Since then, a number of other companies have dropped SFI including AT&T, State Farm and Comcast.