On December 14th, a broad based coalition of environmental and conservation organizations representing millions of people in the US submitted a letter to KFC asking the company to end its support for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) paper certification scheme. The letter is in response to a recent initiative announced by KFC that promotes its paper packaging as green because it is certified by the SFI.
The request follows on the heels of a vote last week in which members of the US Green Building Council rejected the inclusion of the SFI certification system in its LEED standards certification. Additionally, earlier this year, a suit was filed with the Federal Trade Commission accusing the SFI of misleading marketing practices and the label had its non-profit status challenged in a complaint filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
The nine organizations which include Dogwood Alliance, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and ForestEthics amongst others, encouraged KFC to stop greenwashing and embrace truly sustainable paper packaging such as recycled paper and paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is the only forest certification system broadly endorsed by environmental and science-based organizations across North America.
“When we launched our campaign in April, KFC has refused to engage with us on these critical issues. We are encouraged that KFC and its parent company Yum! Brands have finally expressed a desire to source its paper packaging responsibly,” said Scot Quaranda of Dogwood Alliance. “Unfortunately, by endorsing the SFI they are either directly or inadvertently misleading their customers and the public.”
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative was created as a marketing label by the American Forest & Paper Association and is a rubber stamp for business as usual destructive forestry practices. The SFI certifies the worst of the worst forest management practices such as large-scale clearcutting, logging of endangered forests and critical wildlife habitat, conversion of natural forests to sterile tree plantations, and widespread use of toxic chemicals.
Whereas the SFI is a misleading certification scheme, the broader conservation community and countless Fortune 500 companies support the Forest Stewardship Council, which is far more rigorous and can play an important role in protecting endangered forests and improving forest practices across North America.
“KFC has an opportunity to help protect forests in its own backyard, the Southern US, by rejecting the SFI and embracing FSC,” continued Quaranda. “We urge KFC to get educated about the SFI and stop hiding behind a phony green label.”
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The letter and a full list of signatories can be viewed here – Sign-on Letter to YUM to drop SFI
To learn more about Dogwood Alliance’s Kentucky Fried Forests campaign, visit here: http://www.kentuckyfriedforests.com/