Certified forest products may not look any different. But whether they are copy paper, lumber or packaging, they come with a bonus — buyers know the fibre is from a responsible source.

That’s especially important in North America where consumers both at home and in international markets want to know they are supporting good forest practices.

Kathy Abusow is president and CEO of the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), one of the fastest-growing forest certification programs in the world. She says the rapid growth shows more people are coming to understand the value of certification on the ground and on the store shelf.

But Abusow also knows there is a lot of work ahead. “Just 10 per cent of the world’s forests are certified, and that’s not enough,” she says.

The SFI forest standard, for example, is based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value.

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