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Newsletter Stories

Thursday, 01 November 2001
FSC Strengths Highlighted in Independent Study

The Meridian Institute, a Washington DC-based facilitation and conflict resolution firm, recently completed a collaborative study comparing the standards and processes of the FSC program to the American Forest and Paper Association’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. The study was a paper comparison of the two schemes, comparable to a desk audit. An on the ground comparison is planned for 2002. Though other studies had been conducted, FSC, SFI, and The Home Depot all agreed there was a need for an independent, third party study of the two programs.

The Meridian Institute served as the mediator for a panel comprised of ten U.S. forest management experts. FSC and SFI each appointed three panelists and also agreed upon four additional “joint" panelists.

FSC appointed: Robert Hrubes, Scientific Certification Systems; Mike Jani, Mendocino Redwoods Company; and Lynn Jungwirth, Watershed Research and Training Center.

Jointly appointed were: Jane Difley, Society for the Protection of NH State Forests; Jim Grace, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; John McNulty, Seven Islands Land Company; and Alaric Sample, Pinchot Institute for Conservation.

SFI appointed: John McMahon, Weyerhaeuser Company; Carlton Owen, The Environmental Edge, LLC; and Scott Wallinger, Westvaco Corporation.

The sponsors felt the US public needed independent, third-party generation of a scorecard to compare FSC and SFI. FSC is proud to offer this study for consumers and companies to use to make their decisions on procuring wood from responsibly managed forests.

The differences found in the study show that FSC continues to be the leader in responsible forestry in the US. The executive summary and full results of the comparison study are on the FSC homepage at Additional information can be found and FSC would like to sincerely thank all of the panel members for their dedicated work throughout the entire length of the study.