Habitat for Humanity Canada and SFI® Official Partners for Sustainable Housing, Communities and Families

MONTREAL, Sept. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI) and Habitat for Humanity Canada are going from being like-minded allies to official partners with the signing of a memorandum of mutual support at the SFI Annual conference in Montreal.

"We are excited to have SFI's formal commitment to help Habitat for Humanity. SFI and its network of grassroots implementation committees work at the intersection of healthy forests, sustainable communities and the responsible purchasing of forest products," said Mark Rodgers, the Chief Operating Officer of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "Signing today's agreement will take things to the next level. It sends a strong signal to our mutual network of supporters that we want to deepen and strengthen this important relationship."

To date, SFI sponsorship and SFI Program Participant volunteers have helped build homes in Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Alderville, Oakville, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to provide affordable homeownership to low-income, working families across Canada. These efforts have included countless volunteer hours and certified building materials such as panel products, lumber and engineered wood products. Some projects have even tracked the wood used to build Habitat homes back to the forest where the wood was grown. This helps homeowners understand the link between their new home and sustainable forest management.

"Habitat for Humanity and SFI have worked together for years to help put homeownership within reach of Canadian families. Today's agreement will enhance these efforts in tangible ways, particularly through the introduction of our new Wood 4 Good program," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

The Wood 4 Good program has four pillars to provide mutual support for SFI and Habitat for Humanity objectives. The program will:

  • Champion and facilitate SFI Implementation Committees and partners participation in Habitat for Humanity Canada building projects.
  • Create awareness of the benefits of sourcing SFI certified wood and paper products.
  • Assist with supply chain solutions to provide SFI building materials to Habitat affiliates.
  • Identify collaborative solutions to support Aboriginal housing.

Working with Habitat for Humanity is just one of the important ways that SFI Inc. and SFI Implementation Committees promote the SFI Standard as a means to broaden the practice of responsible forestry and make progress on the ground.

About Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI)
SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. Across the United States and Canada, about 250 million acres/100 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and chain-of-custody claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at www.sfiprogram.org and www.sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working towards a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. With the help of over 63,000 volunteers every year and 58 affiliate organizations from coast to coast, their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty in Canada and around the world. Learn more: www.habitat.ca.

Image with caption: "SFI joined Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region for a Women in Wood Build Day. Twenty women worked on the framework of a new home for an Ottawa-area Ojibwe-Cree family. (CNW Group/Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140916_C1037_PHOTO_EN_5627.jpg

SOURCE: Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)

For further information: Media Contact: Rebecca Peters, 604-762-2098, rebecca.peters@sfiprogram.org

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