FSC vs. SFI: The battle of forestry eco-labels

We follow the ongoing 'fight' and controversy between the two leading forestry eco-labels: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification program vs. Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

The links are brought to you in a chronological order. We hope you will find them useful!

SFI - http://sfiprogram.org/

FSC- http://www.fsc.org/

ForestEthics Report: SFI: Certified Greenwash

On The Ground 2011 The controversies of PEFC and SFI

Pondering That Green Label, Elisabeth Rosenthal, NYTimes.com, May 15, 2012
When it comes to labels assuring consumers that they’re buying green products, buyer beware. In theory such labels are intended to help shoppers make responsible choices. But many of these labeling and certification programs are overseen by the industry they are supposedly policing.

Forest Product Certification Sparks Debate in LEED 2012, Green Buildings News, April 19, 2012
As it revises LEED standards in 2012, the U.S. Green Building Council is considering amendments to forest product certification, a subject that has sparked debate among members of the forestry industry and other stakeholders. The rating system awards points for using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified products, or wood products grown and harvested in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, as well as for innovation in design, construction, operations and maintenance of a building project.

LEED-Bashing: SFI Couldn't Join LEED, So Now It Is Out To Destroy It, Llyod Alter, Treehugger, February 24, 2012
I have called it the Rumble in the Lumberyard; Artist/activist Franke James calls it the War in the Woods. It was the long-running battle by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to get recognition for their wood certification system in the LEED green building certification system, which only recognizes wood certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) .

Maine’s Governor Helps SFI Win an Important Battle Over FSC, Raz Godelnik, Triple Pundit, December 29, 2011

I have to admit that I got it wrong. Last September, I wrote here about the battle between the competing forest products certification Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Forest Stewardship Council (SFI). I thought that the fact that seven large companies decided to reject the SFI certification meant that SFI is going to lose this battle, unless it worked with environmental organizations to improve its credibility. I didn’t take into consideration one factor that can change this balance of power and help SFI swiftly recover: friendly politicians.

State of Maine Bans Use Of LEED In State Construction, Llyod Alter, Treehugger, December 21, 2011

I have to give credit to Governor Paul Lepage of Maine; he has managed to bring everyone in the green building scene together for the first time in years. Maine had a pretty good green building scene, thanks to rules that required new or expanded state-owned buildings to get Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.

Greenwashing?, DEIRDRE FULTON, The Portland Phoenix , December 21, 2011

Governor Paul LePage dealt a blow to Maine's green building industry earlier this month when he issued an executive order expanding the types of "green" wood products that can be used in state building construction. Environmental organizations have accused the governor of "greenwashing" the news, i.e., hyping an eco-friendliness that may not exist.

Congress Goes Through With Ban On Green Building at Department of Defense, Llyod Alter, Treehugger, December 20, 2011

I reported in July about how Congress was going to ban the Department of Defense from getting LEED certification; now it has happened, as part of the spending bill passed on December 15. Buried in there is the line:

Maine Executive Order Puts Forest Certification on Equal Footing, SFI Newsroom , December 8, 2011

Maine Governor Paul LePage signed an executive order today directing that “any new or expanded state buildings shall incorporate ‘Green Building’ standards that give certification credits equally to forest products grown, manufactured, and certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard, Forest Stewardship Council, American Tree Farm System, and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification systems.”

SFI response to “On the Ground 2011? by Greenpeace, Sierra Club of British Columbia, Dogwood Alliance et al, SFI Newsroom , October 19, 2011

On Oct. 17, 2011, a coalition of environmental campaigners issued On the Ground 2011– The controversies of PEFC and SFI. The true controversy about this report is that by presenting misleading and inaccurate information, well-funded market campaigners are diverting resources and attention from the goal we should all support – improving forest management globally.

Seven F500 Companies Stop Using SFI Certified Wood, Raz Godelnik , Triple Pundit, September 16, 2011

Here's a quick green test: What is the eco-label that generates the most controversy? If you answered SFI give yourself an A. Now the controversy around the Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification (SFI) is reaching new levels as seven Fortune 500 companies decided to reject it. This group includes Sprint, Norm Thompson Outfitters, King Arthur Flour, AT&T, State Farm, U.S. Bank and Comcast. Has SFI just lost another battle in a long war on their credibility, or is it more than that and they're about to lose the war?

NEW REPORT: On The Ground 2011: The controversies of PEFC and SFI, Environmental Paper Network , October 18, 2011

A coalition of environmental and social NGOs released an investigation today exposing the failings of forest-industry-controlled certification worldwide. The coalition includes Climate for Ideas (United Kingdom), Forests of the World (Denmark), Dogwood Alliance (United States), Hnutí DUHA (Friends of the Earth Czech Republic), Greenpeace, Sierra Club of British Columbia, and the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.

For FSC, Little Time to Waste, Presidio Marketing, Triple Pundit, April 20, 2011

In late 2012, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will unveil its new certified wood policies for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) MRc7 credit rating system. Up until now, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has benefited from being the only certification label recognized under credits for the LEED buildings, but in recent years the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) has been lobbying the USGBC to recognize their label under LEED.

FSC, SFI Battle Heats Up Over Paper, ForestEthics, Paula Melton, Architectural Record, April 14, 2011

If you thought the war of the woods was over, think again. Paper is the new front in the ongoing battle between the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The advocacy group ForestEthics recently announced that seven major companies would stop using the SFI label on their paper products.

What to Do When Forest Ethics Comes Knocking?, Kathy Abusow, GreenBiz.com, April 8, 2011

Companies large and small have made great strides in relying on forest certification standards for sourcing wood and paper products. Unfortunately, a group called ForestEthics is engaged in a campaign to pressure companies to choose only one standard, the Forest Stewardship Council, to the exclusion of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which I run, and all the others.

Who's Peddling Pulp Fiction in the SFI vs. FSC Forestry Wars? - Marc Gunther, GreenBiz.com, March 31, 2011

Pity the shopper who wants to buy "green" paper or forest products. They can choose products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Only the most dedicated deep-green consumer can be expected to understand the differences between the two.

Seven Companies Opt Out of Sustainable Forestry Initiative Label, Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit, March 30, 2011

Seven companies, including four from the Fortune 500, committed to not using Sustainable Forestry Initiative's (SFI) label on paper products or company publications. The seven companies are Aetna, Allstate, Garnet Hill, Office Depot, Performance Bicycles, Symantec, and United Stationers.

News site delves deeply into SFI vs. FSC » One Voice for Working Forests - One Voice for Working Forests, March 19, 2010

The Tyee, a Canadian online news magazine, ran a 5-part series this week on the SFI vs. FSC forestry certification debate. The series provides a lot of detail about the claims by both sides, as well as what the debate may mean for the future of the forestry and green building industries. To recap, most of the fighting lately has to do with the U.S. Green Building Council’s proposed changes to what kind of wood it’s going to allow as part of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standards.

Campaign against Sustainable Forestry Initiative Escalates -Audrey Khuner, Triple Pundit, November 19, 2009

ForestEthics versus SFI. The green industry is overwhelmed by trustmarks and certification organizatons. As a result, consumers don’t know whom to believe anymore. As it turns out SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) is funded and managed primarily by large logging companies, whereas ForestEthics is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting endangered forests

Environmental Groups Spar Over Certifications of Wood and Paper Products -Mireya Navarro, New York Times, September 11, 2009

For more than a decade, the nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council generally has been viewed as the premier judge of whether a wood or paper product should be labeled as environmentally friendly. But to the dismay of major environmental groups, that label, known as F.S.C., is facing a stiff challenge from a rival certification system supported by the paper and timber industry. At stake is the trust of consumers in the ever-expanding market for “green” products.

A Picture Is Worth: FSC vs SFI Forests -Llyod Alter, Treehugger, March 31, 2009

I love wood buildings, and think wood is one of the greenest building materials around, but only if the forests are managed sustainably. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is doing a major ad campaign to convince everyone that "The New Environmentalist" proudly stands in is pyjamas in front of his SFI-built Mcmansion reading his SFI-pulp newspaper. But you just need to look at the picture above to see that SFI does not promote sustainable forest management or control clear-cutting. And that is just the start of it.

FSC vs. SFI Forests - Heart of Green, May 28, 2008

A common question is “What kind of wood should I buy?” It turns out that there are no good or bad species – only good and bad forestry. Let’s take a moment to examine FSC and SFI with the goal of getting to the green bottom of this burning issue.

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