Four leaders of the North American publishing industry recently announced they will partner with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to help spur the growth of certification to preserve and protect forests.

Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan, and Pearson will become Founding Partners of the SFI Forest Partners Program. The alliance was announced at the SFI annual conference in Milwaukee, attended by foresters, land owners, conservation groups, First Nations, industry and government agencies.

SFI Forest Partners allows market leaders to support certification, as well as landowners and manufacturers facilitate forest certification and the certified sourcing of forest products. Partners will work collectively with the SFI community to make certification more efficient and accessible by providing resources for activities such as shared consulting expertise, group certification or audit coordination.

“A decade ago, Time Inc. was one of the first companies to make a public commitment to use 80% certified fiber. Progress beyond that goal has been hampered by the limited availability of adequate supply,” said Guy Gleysteen, Senior Vice President of Production at Time Inc. “SFI Forest Partners lets us have a direct impact on the growth of forest certification and the responsible sourcing of forest products.”

By the end of 2014, SFI Forest Partners aims to certify five million acres (two million hectares) of forests to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard. By the end of 2017, the Forest Partners Program hopes to certify 10 million acres (four million hectares) of forest across the United States and Canada.  It will also seek to certify more small and medium-sized mills to SFI certified sourcing or chain-of-custody certification.

From The Sacramento Bee: