The launch comes just days after environmental group ForestEthics filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, saying the SFI’s standards are developed “by timber industry personnel in a closed process” – accusations that are surely top of SFI executives’ mind as they look for input on the revisions. In a statement launching the review process, SFI president and CEO Kathy Abusow stressed that “the SFI Standard is developed through an open and inclusive process involving the many different people who know and care about our forests including public and private landowners, forest sector representatives, indigenous communities, conservation groups, industry, academia and government officials.”
ForestEthics has long campaigned for companies to ditch SFI in favor of rival certification program the Forest Stewardship Council. Last year, ForestEthics announced that US Airways, Shutterfly, Energizer, Allied Electronics, Phillips Van Heusen, Pitney Bowes and Ruby Tuesday will stop using the SFI seal on their products.
Respondents can suggest improvements to the 2010-2014 SFI Standard requirements from now through August 6, and can submit comments on draft 2015-2019 requirements starting in January 2014. The SFI will also hold 10 public workshops across the US and Canada, as well as a webinar workshop.
Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.