Although I spent countless hours on the expo floor at Greenbuild 2009 earlier this month in Phoenix, it appears that I missed some excitement. Forest Ethics, an organization dedicated to protecting our forests, called out the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) for questionable practices. Forest Ethics placed a banner high above the SFI booth claiming that the Sustainable Forestry Initiative is merely another example of greenwashing. The organization also followed suit with a full-page ad in the Phoenix edition of USA Today, a paper that was read by thousands of conference attendees.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative manages a certification process that is designed to provide consumers and business owners assurance that products are sourced from a sustainable forest management project. However, SFI’s relationship with Sierra Pacific Industries, loggers, and other possible conflicts of interest has caused Forest Ethics and other environmental advocacy organizations to question these claims.

Photo: Forest Ethics