In an era where consumers prioritise responsible choices, assuring them of environmentally sound purchases has become essential. This assurance extends to products made from certified forest materials, sustainable sourcing or recycled content. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative's (SFI) Chain of Custody Standard provides a robust solution through its associated labels.
The SFI Chain of Custody Standard is an accounting system that tracks certified forest fiber content from production through manufacturing, ultimately reaching the finished product. This Standard applies to any organisation involved in sourcing, processing, manufacturing, handling, trading, converting or printing forest-based products.
Companies can make informed claims about the extent of certified lands, certified sourcing and/or recycled content in their products. SFI-labelled products must exclude fiber sourced from areas lacking effective social laws.
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Embark on your certification journey by completing our service request form or reaching out to us directly. Our experts will navigate you through the certification scope that aligns best with your company setup and needs.
The certification process
|Application process: Start by submitting a service application to Preferred by Nature. This information shapes a budget proposal and certification agreement tailored to your organisation.|
Certification preparation: Ready yourself for certification by ensuring full compliance with all requirements. This entails assigning responsibilities, developing chain of custody procedures and training your staff.
|Assessments: Onsite audits are conducted, encompassing interviews, document reviews, facility tours and volume accounting system evaluations.|
|Audit report: We provide a comprehensive audit report detailing results. Any non-conformities are outlined, and major ones require correction before the certificate can be issued.|
|Earning certificate: Upon a positive certification decision, we will grant your SFI Chain of Custody certification, and the SFI database will be updated accordingly.|
The 2022 SFI Chain of Custody Standard applies to any organisation that sources, processes, manufactures, handles, trades, converts or prints forest-based products.
Within this main standard, specific criteria may or may not apply to every company, depending on the activities performed at each certified site. For example, three options exist for tracking certified material and making claims. Companies may maintain physical separation of certified material (the transfer system) or mix certified and non-certified inputs under the percentage and volume credit systems.
The 2022 SFI Chain of Custody Standard and associated labels, implemented together with the SFI Rules for Use of On-Product Labels and Off-Product Marks, deliver a reliable and credible mechanism so businesses can provide this assurance to customers.
- Expertise. Preferred by Nature, an international non-profit, supports better land management and business practices across 100+ countries. With nearly 30 years of experience, we have fostered sustainable land use and responsible sourcing in forest commodities, certifying over 33 million hectares of forest land and farms and 1 million farmers. Our clientele ranges from retailers, producers and traders to multinational multi-site and group certificate holders, as well as small enterprises and smallholders.
- Customer focus. We keep you up to speed on the certification requirements and we take pride in providing clear and full answers to your questions.
- Industry insight. We cater to companies of all sizes and from all business sectors along the supply chain. For any line of business and company setup, we possess insight on the specific options and challenges of certification that apply to your organisation.
- Local presence, global reach. With staff located in over 40 countries across the globe and backed by an extensive global network of experts, we cater to companies worldwide.
- Wider service choice. We offer a wide range of additional services to support your sustainability efforts.
- Mission-driven approach. Our mission shapes our focus on quality, information sharing and capacity building.
Five advantages of gaining the SFI Chain of Custody certification:
- Traceability and confidence: Certify the journey of forest products from source to consumer, ensuring responsible origin – gaining market access and competitive advantage.
- Credibility and trust: The certification label on your products signifies your commitment to responsible forest management and sourcing.
- Sustainability goals alignment: Achieve your sustainability goals by demonstrating material origin verification, contributing to forest conservation and biodiversity protection.
- Wider market access: Open doors to sustainability-focused markets. Certified organisations enjoy a competitive edge, catering to consumers' preference for products from responsibly managed forests.
- Transparency and accountability: Independent third-party certification audits ensure alignment with rigorous SFI standards, fostering transparency and accountability for meeting sustainability benchmarks.