Smead Receives Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®) Certification


Hastings, MN (April 21, 2008) — According to recent national survey commissioned by Smead, 77% of office workers said buying paper office products made from trees grown and harvested in a sustainable manner was important to them. To meet the growing consumer demand for "green" filing products, Smead is pleased to announce that it has been certified as a member of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) ‘Certified Sourcing’ Program. The SFI Program provides rigorous environmental standards and performance measures that integrate the protection of our environment with the perpetual, sustainable growing and harvesting of trees.

Smead is the only manufacturer of filing products to have received this certification, which guarantees that the paper used to make Smead products comes from forests that are grown and harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner. "Our customers increasingly value environmental stewardship and sustainability," said Sharon Avent, Smead President and CEO. "We take great care to implement practices and procedures that are right for the environment and right for our customers." Smead’s participation in the SFI program is a new component of its environmental stewardship initiative, which started in 1989 with the introduction of post-consumer waste into its paper products and has evolved over the past 20 years to include a line of 100% recycled products as well numerous internal initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle in every aspect of its business.

Individuals are Driving Green in the Office
While environmental considerations do play a significant role in corporate purchasing decisions and many companies large and small are adopting green initiatives, the interest in green-at-the-office appears largely driven by the individual. Among those surveyed from large employers (500+ employees), 42% say their companies have green corporate guidelines yet a third more (69%) switched brands to get greener products. And among those surveyed at small companies (under 500 employees), only 26% said their companies had green guidelines, yet more than twice as many (54%) had switched brands to obtain greener products.

The survey also found that 66% of office workers agreed that they could be more green in the workplace, and 73% indicated that they planned to increase their purchases of green products in the coming year. Additionally, nearly 80% of those surveyed make a point to recycle paper at their workplace and 40% of respondents said they purchased an office product because it was made from recycled material.

Look for the Label
Smead’s SFI certification has earned it the right to label qualifying products with the distinctive green leaf and tree logo mark. Every Smead-branded paper product contains at least 10% post consumer recycled material, and hundreds of Smead products meet or exceed progressive requirements used by corporations and government agencies when choosing earth-friendly office supplies. Smead’s 100% recycled product line includes top tab, end tab and hanging folder products as well as jackets, pockets, expanding files and wallets.

"We’re able to deliver the same quality with our environmentally friendly products that office workers nationwide have come to expect," continued Avent. "With Smead’s 100% recycled products, we’re conserving forest resources while lessening the demands on our nation’s landfills." From the mills and suppliers of raw materials to the distribution of finished products, Smead and their partners practice industry leading environmental standards.

"Our work is not done," commented Avent. "Smead will continue to lead our industry to ensure our practices and products meet and exceed not only the latest environmental guidelines but meet our customers’ desire to become greener in the office."

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About SFI: (www.sfiprogram.org)
First established in 1994, the main objective of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative is to ensure conservation of forest resources by soil conservation, timely reforestation, and other measures while maximizing long term forest productivity. This is accomplished by establishing principals and objectives set by environmental and industry experts and then measuring the performance of participating companies through certification audits. In over a decade, SFI has evolved from establishing best practices for the U.S. forestry industry to being a world leader in certification and sustainable forestry advocacy.

About Smead: (www.smead.com)
Smead is a worldwide leader in office filing products and records management systems. For more than 100 years, Smead has brought a spirit of innovation and integrity to keeping businesses and home offices organized. Headquartered in Hastings, Minnesota, Smead is a privately held, woman-owned business offering thousands of organizational products with more than 2,400 employees across North America and Europe.