Is Sierra Pacific Industries’ clearcutting under the so called “green” SFI certification “greenwashing”? You decide.
Sierra Pacific Industries claims that their clearcut logging methods are environmentally friendly and sustainable and proudly stands behind their SFI forest certification. Last week, however, according to an excellent report in the New Your TImes, “two environmental groups, Forest Ethics and Greenpeace, filed a complaint with the trade commission claiming that an organization that certifies paper and other forest products as “green” is a front group for the timber industry and violates the agency’s new standards for such claims. They call it a classic case of falsely claiming that a product or service is somehow more environmentally friendly or sustainable than similar products.
Forest Ethics and Greenpeace charge that the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or S.F.I., a group originally formed by big timber companies, defrauds the public by certifying that products carrying its label are harvested using only environmentally responsible practices. The environmental groups say that some of the companies using the S.F.I. label engage in damaging forestry methods like clear-cutting, overusing pesticides and destroying habitats or rare species”.