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ANSI and SFI, Inc. Unite Behind Sustainable Forestry Accreditation Service
Washington, DC, USA, 14 March 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Inc. announced today the official launch of a new accreditation service that will support forest management practices by authenticating the traceability of wood products.

The ANSI-SFI partnership is designed to strengthen sustainable forestry practices and provide an assurance to customers and consumers that suppliers are respectful of environmental concerns and committed to the use of resources from well-managed forests. Sustainable forestry is a land stewardship ethic that is designed to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Under the new initiative, ANSI will accredit bodies that audit the suppliers of wood products. The Institute's internationally-recognized accreditation activity will be carried out in accordance with the chain-of-custody (CoC) certification requirements developed and maintained by SFI and the globally-recognized Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Systems. Because the SFI Program was endorsed by PEFC, companies in the United States have the option to use not only the SFI Standard and CoC certification, but the PEFC CoC Standard and PEFC Labels as well.

A pilot of the ANSI-SFI program was launched more than six months ago and concluded yesterday with the successful accreditation of the first four certification bodies: Bureau Veritas Certification North America Inc., KPMG Performance Registrar Inc., NSF International, and the Quality Management Institute. Each of the newly accredited bodies underwent a detailed application process that included witness and surveillance assessments and demonstrated conformance with the requirements to conduct both SFI and PEFC CoC audits.

"Our partnership with ANSI will help to build global recognition for SFI's certification process," explained SFI, Inc. president William Banzhaf. "Our goal is to instill confidence in the consumer that there are proven methods in place to track the movement of sustainable products from the forest to the end user."

Only companies and organizations that have successfully completed an audit by an independent, ANSI-accredited body can be certified as compliant with the strict wood supply monitoring requirements set by SFI and PEFC.

"ANSI has a long and successful track record in accrediting certification programs," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "We are pleased to offer our expertise to support SFI and the sustainable forestry industry."

About ANSI

ANSI is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC); and it is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

About SFI

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Inc. has the sole responsibility for the SFI Standard and all aspects of the program. SFI, Inc is overseen by a 15-member board of directors, the members of which reflect the variety of interests in the forestry community. Of SFI, Inc.'s 15 board members, five are the CEOs of nonprofit environmental groups, five board members are the CEOs of forest products companies, and the remaining board members represent stakeholders from the broader forest community. Through the balance of these stakeholders, the board can ensure that the SFI Program is protecting the economic, environmental, and social needs of our forests and communities. SFI, Inc. serves as the U.S. national governing body for PEFC, an international forest certification recognition organization. For more information, visit http://www.sfiprogram.org/.

Source: American National Standards Institute


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