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NSF-ISR Participates in the SFI/PLT Conference on Sustainable Forestry

The conference features sessions on ESG (environmental, social and governance) and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), plus first-timer topics.

NSF-ISR's Dan Freeman, Jeanette Halliday and Michelle Matteo attended the SFI/PLT Conference.

Wood is all around us — it’s a fundamental part of our built world — and NSF helps ensure that it's grown and acquired in a responsible, sustainable way.

Sustainability and responsible forestry were the topics of the day at the recent annual conference of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), known as the SFI/PLT Conference, held June 14-17, 2022, at the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club in Madison, Wisconsin.

SFI is a sustainability organization operating in the U.S. and Canada that works across four pillars: standards, conservation, community and education. Project Learning Tree (PLT), one of its youth education initiatives, help teachers, parents, community leaders and activists educate youth in grades K-12 to better understand and protect our natural forest environment.

Sustainability Takes On Another Meaning in Forestry

The field of forestry needs to appeal to the younger generation for another reason: The demand for auditors has increased. The work can be sustainable if there is enough help. A major point of discussion at the SFI Auditors Forum was the need for a process to produce the auditors who will be needed in the future.

Facility-based operations in manufacturing have a career track in place, providing a pipeline for auditor talent. An example of this is an employee who moves up from a quality or environmental health and safety manager position to an auditor role. In forestry, however, a progression like this hasn’t been established.

“We don’t have such a pipeline for forestry auditors,” said Dan Freeman, an account manager in management systems for NSF. “And as the people who have been doing these audits since the sustainable forestry standards came into use over the last two to three decades are now aging into retirement, we need to replenish the ranks.”

Conferences Are Great Places To Learn About Certifications

Interested parties came to the NSF booth to learn more about what we offer. Conferences can be a great place to discuss programs face to face in a relaxed environment rather than during the busy workday. NSF spoke with potential customers on forest management, procurement and chain of custody, and answered questions about our accreditation, which is a growing topic these days.

Certifications are not required in the forestry business; they’re voluntary. And they’re an important measure in helping ensure sustainable harvesting and low-impact procurement.

If your company commits to high standards for its materials and wants to communicate that it acquired materials in a sustainable way — because your customers look for sustainability — explore certification by NSF. We’ve been a trusted certification body in various disciplines since 1944. In addition, unlike many other certifiers, we offer all four forestry certifications: SFI, American Tree Farm System® (ATFS®), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).

Learn how we can help you do more for sustainability.

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