Nadine Block, Senior Director of Government Outreach, discusses SFI’s role in GOVgreen, a conference held in Washington, DC November 9-10.
Earlier this week I was at the first annual GOVgreen conference and had the privilege of speaking with professionals working in various parts of the government, many who have jobs relating to implementing President Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental Energy and Economic Performance. These professionals are looking for solutions that not only comply with the order and help them achieve their sustainability goals, but are a good fit for their department’s specific purchasing, building, and policy needs.
Efficient procurement decisions are as simple as purchasing SFI-labeled cups like the ones used by conference participants, including by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. during his keynote address at GOVgreen. This provides an excellent example of consumer products that are sourced responsibly and demonstrates how simple purchasing decisions can make a difference. Our presence at the conference included sponsoring water stations, where SFI-labeled ecotainers were used, and staffing an exhibit where we interacted with dozens of conference participants. Additionally, I participated in a panel discussion about “Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Programs,” along with Christine Chase, Certification Manager at Green Seal and Graziella Siciliano, Senior Program Associate at the Alliance to Save Energy. These forums gave me an opportunity to show how forest certification works with recycling for well-rounded procurement policies. I was also able to demonstrate how SFI certification supports North American jobs and communities and how using forest products from responsibly managed forests helps keeps forests as forests. When organizations demand responsible wood and paper products, they are giving our domestic forest landowners markets for their products and incentives to continue to responsibly manage their forests. Forest certification like SFI is a necessary proof point of responsible behavior.
Thanks to all who were able to stop by the SFI booth or my presentations during the show, and we look forward to working with government organizations in finding preferred options and practices around using forest certified products.