Forest and Fiber Certification

We recognize that encouraging responsible stewardship is one of the keys to protecting global forestlands and ensuring a sustainable supply of wood fiber for our business needs.


Globally, we follow a Certification Policy and a Responsible Fiber Procurement Policy that address responsible fiber procurement and forest and fiber certification practices through recognition of credible third-party standards. These include the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and national standards recognized by PEFC like the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) in the U.S. and Certificacão Florestal (CERFLOR) in Brazil. All of the forestland we lease, own or manage in Brazil and Russia is certified according to national or international forest management standards.

More than 90 percent of International Paper’s fiber supply in the United States comes from privately owned forests, most of which are small and family-owned. Developing new sources of third-party-certified fiber is not easy. Landowners can be reluctant to take on the additional responsibility and costs associated with certifying their property. Our strategy relies on working directly with suppliers and landowners to encourage them to make this investment, and we deploy significant resources in this effort. Professional foresters and wildlife biologists from International Paper provide technical support to suppliers and landowners on developing forest management plans required for certification audits.

About Third Party Verification

Responsible forest management and fiber sourcing practices can be verified by third-party certifiers to a number of independent standards. Third-party experts verify a company's performance against a set of objectives detailed in the standards. The following are three types of certifications:

  • Forest Management — Certification of the activities of land management – harvesting to reforestation
  • Fiber Procurement — A certification offered by SFI®, which includes land management as well as the responsible purchasing of timber and contracting for harvesting and transportation.
  • Chain of Custody — Certification that verifies that policies, systems and procedures are in place to track wood fiber from the forest, through the manufacturing and converting processes and then to customers. All of International Paper’s pulp and paper mills and many of our converting operations are now CoC-certified to one or more recognized standards.