Endorsed National Forest Certification Systems
PEFC-endorsed national forest certification systems seeking to obtain international endorsement by PEFC have been independently assessed and found to be in compliance with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmark. All documentation related to the assessment, including the evaluation report, are publicly available.
To display information about an endorsed national certification system, please select a country from the list below:
PEFC United States
PEFC US is made up of two certification programmemes: The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI) and the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), together they make up 110 million hectares (ha) of certified lands across North America. PEFC US is also unique in that its certified lands actually expand across two countries: the United States (34 million ha) and Canada (75.8 million ha).
The SFI and ATFS programmes reflect the different forest ownership patterns in North America. The SFI programme addresses large public land and medium to large private forest landowners in both the United States (24.3 million ha) and Canada (75.8 million ha) while the ATFS programme represents small family forest landowners in the United States (9.7 million ha). PEFC first endorsed the SFI standard in 2005 and the ATFS standard in 2008.
PEFC US programmes work with a variety of organizations (including forest industry, landowners, labour and certification systems) to influence legislation, educate federal, state and provincial agencies, build code development, and facilitate discussions between groups involved with forest certification programmes.
This work is evident in the increasing number of inclusive procurement policies and legislation in North America. SFI and ATFS attend more than 30 tradeshows and conferences each year to promote inclusivity and the benefits of forest certification.
Certification and Chain of Custody
PEFC US currently represents almost 44% of the 250 million hectares certified to standards endorsed by PEFC International. By 2014, PEFC US had more than 300 Chain of Custody certificates.
The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS)
ATFS is the oldest and largest forest certification programme in North America, is a programme of the AFF Centre for Family Forests, and is administered through a network of tree farmers and private landowners, volunteer members of state and local committees and associations, national and state government agencies, inspecting foresters, forestry consultants, natural resource professionals and private industry.
All land certified through the ATFS is required to conform to the American Forest Foundation's (AFF) Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification. Tree farmers manage their properties to develop multiple forest benefits including wood, water, wildlife and recreational opportunities.
Tree farmers must own at least 10 acres (four ha) of forestland, implement a written forest management plan, and follow the AFF's Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification standards and guidelines for forest management to become and remain a Certified Tree Farm.
Tree farms are inspected and certified by an ATFS inspecting forester to assure proper forest management that includes the conservation of soil, water and wildlife.
All certified woodland owners receive one complimentary copy to the award-winning Tree Farmer, The Practical Guide to Sustainable Forestry magazine and invitations to conventions, field days, meetings, seminars and the opportunity to participate in ATFS grassroots policy efforts.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI)
SFI Inc. is a fully independent, non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. The programme works with conservation groups, local communities, resource professionals, landowners, and countless other organizations and individuals who share its passion for responsible forest management.
SFI Inc.’s 18-member multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprises three chambers, representing environmental, economic and social interests equally. Board members include representatives of environmental, conservation, professional and academic groups, independent professional loggers, family forest owners, public officials, labour and the forest products industry.
The SFI programme has 250 programme participants, and involves more than a thousand organizations from across North America. SFI Inc. responds to local needs and issues across North America through 37 SFI Implementation Committees at the state, provincial or regional level.
Conservation groups like The Conservation Fund, the American Bird Conservancy and Conservation International recognize that SFI certification helps to protect wildlife habitat, biological diversity and other important forest values.
- Sarah Crow - Certification Manager
- Kathy Abusow - President and CEO
- Rachel Dierolf - Secretary, PEFC US
American Tree Farm System
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- Joined PEFC: 19 June 2001
- First endorsement: 7 August 2008
- First re-endorsement: 23 December 2013
- Current endorsement valid until: 23 December 2018
- Joined PEFC: 19 June 2001
- First endorsement: 6 December 2005
- First re-endorsement: 3 November 2011
- Current endorsement valid until: 3 November 2016
* Note: The SFI Forest Management standard has achieved PEFC endorsement. PEFC has not endorsed the SFI Chain of Custody standard. Any company that sources timber from SFI-certified forests and would like to sell it as PEFC-certified or use the PEFC label needs to obtain PEFC Chain of Custody certification.