SFI Forest Management Standard Objectives

The SFI 2022 Forest Management Standard Objectives are as follows:


  • Objective 1. Forest Management Planning

    To ensure forest management plans include long-term sustainable harvest levels and measures to avoid forest conversion or afforestation of ecologically important areas.

    Why it Matters: Ensures that we grow more trees than we harvest, guaranteeing that forests will last for future generations.

    Objective 2. Forest Health and Productivity

    To ensure long-term forest productivity and conservation of forest resources through prompt reforestation, afforestation, deploying integrated pest management strategies, minimized chemical use, soil conservation, and protecting forests from damaging agents.

    Why it Matters: Ensures that forests remain healthy and resilient which means better forest productivity including providing a reliable and renewable source of sustainably managed fiber for consumer products.

    Objective 3. Protection and Maintenance of Water Resources

    To protect the water quality and water quantity of rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, and other water bodies.

    Why it Matters: Protecting water quality and quantity helps provide safe and abundant drinking water for all.

    Objective 4. Conservation of Biological Diversity

    To maintain or advance the conservation of biological diversity at the stand- and landscape-level and across a diversity of forest and vegetation cover types and successional stages including the conservation of forest plants and animals, aquatic species, threatened and endangered species, Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value, old-growth forests and ecologically important sites.

    Why it Matters: Ensures that forests are managed to protect wildlife habitat and conserve biological diversity.

    Objective 5. Management of Visual Quality and Recreational Benefits

    To manage the visual impact of forest operations and provide recreational opportunities for the public.

    Why it Matters: Ensures that the public can continue to enjoy the aesthetic values and recreation opportunities of forests.

    Objective 6. Protection of Special Sites

    To manage lands that are geologically or culturally important in a manner that takes into account their unique qualities.

    Why it Matters: Protects special sites that have important geological or cultural values.

    Objective 7. Efficient Use of Fiber Resources

    To minimize waste and ensure the efficient use of fiber resources.

    Why it Matters: Ensures the economic well-being of communities that live and work near forests.

    Objective 8. Recognize and Respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

    To recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional knowledge.

    Why it Matters: Recognizing and respecting the Indigenous Peoples’ rights supports relationship building and shared benefits from sustainably managed forests.

    Objective 9: Climate Smart Forestry

    To ensure forest management activities address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

    Why it Matters: Ensures that SFI-certified forests make an important contribution to addressing the effects of climate change.

    Objective 10. Fire Resilience and Awareness

    To limit susceptibility of forests to undesirable impacts of wildfire and to raise community awareness of fire benefits, risks, and minimization measures.

    Why it Matters: Ensures that forests are managed proactively relative to fire risk in the face of climate change, so that they can continue to store carbon, provide habitat for wildlife, and are a source of clean air and water while protecting public safety and human health.

    Objective 11. Legal and Regulatory Compliance

    To comply with all applicable laws and regulations including, international, federal, provincial, state, and local.

    Why it Matters: Compliance with all laws ensures the protection of the environmental and social values of forests.

    Objective 12. Forestry Research, Science and Technology

    To invest in research, science and technology, upon which sustainable forest management decisions are based.

    Why it Matters: Forest research means healthier, more productive forests.

    Objective 13. Training and Education

    To improve the implementation of sustainable forestry through appropriate training and education programs.

    Why it Matters: Training and educating foresters means forest management plans are more accurately implemented, ensuring the well-being of our forests.

    Objective 14. Community Involvement and Landowner Outreach

    To broaden the practice of sustainable forestry through public outreach, education, and involvement, and to support the efforts of SFI Implementation Committees.

    Why it Matters: Outreach and education improves the public’s understanding of how important sustainable forestry is to local and global issues.

    Objective 15. Public Land Management Responsibilities

    To participate and implement sustainable forest management on public lands.

    Why it Matters: Protects the environmental, social, and economic values of public forests.

    Objective 16. Communications and Public Reporting

    To increase transparency and to annually report progress on conformance with the SFI Forest Management Standard.

    Why it Matters: Reporting the results of third-party audits increases the public’s understanding of forest certification.

    Objective 17. Management Review and Continual Improvement

    To promote continual improvement in the practice of sustainable forestry by conducting a management review and monitoring performance.

    Why it Matters: Encourages continual improvement of sustainable forestry practices, a cornerstone of sustainable forestry.

Maintaining Healthy Forests

SFI Certifications

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Principles

The following SFI Principles apply to the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard. These SFI Principles are supported by additional mandatory requirements including more specific objectives, performance measures and indicators.


  1. Sustainable Forestry
    To practice sustainable forestry to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic that integrates reforestation and the managing, growing, nurturing and harvesting of trees for useful products and ecosystem services such as the conservation of soil, air and water quality, carbon, biological diversity, wildlife and aquatic habitats, recreation and aesthetics.
  2. Forest Productivity and Health
    To provide for regeneration after harvest and maintain the productive capacity of the forest land base, and to protect and maintain long-term forest and soil productivity. In addition, to protect forests from economically or environmentally undesirable levels of wildfire, pests, diseases, invasive exotic plants and animals, and other damaging agents and thus maintain and improve long-term forest health and productivity.
  3. Protection of Water Resources
    To protect water bodies and riparian areas, and to conform with forestry best management practices to protect water quality.
  4. Protection of Biological Diversity
    To manage forests in ways that protect and promote biological diversity, including animal and plant species, wildlife habitats, and ecological or natural community types.
  5. Aesthetics and Recreation
    To manage the visual impacts of forest operations, and to provide recreational opportunities for the public.
  6. Protection of Special Sites 
    To manage lands that are ecologically, geologically or culturally important in a manner that takes into account their unique qualities.
  7. Responsible Fiber Sourcing Practices in North America
    To use and promote among other forest landowners sustainable forestry practices that are both scientifically credible and economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
  8. Legal Compliance
    To comply with applicable federal, provincial, state, and local forestry and related environmental laws, statutes, and regulations.
  9. Research To support advances in sustainable forest management through forestry research, science and technology.
  10. Training and Education
    To improve the practice of sustainable forestry through training and education programs.
  11. Community Involvement and Social Responsibility
    To broaden the practice of sustainable forestry on all lands through community involvement, socially responsible practices, and through recognition and respect of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional forest-related knowledge.
  12. Transparency
    To broaden the understanding of forest certification to the SFI Standards by documenting certification audits and making the findings publicly available.
  13. Continual Improvement
    To continually improve the practice of forest management, and to monitor, measure and report performance in achieving the commitment to sustainable forestry.