Kathy recently sat down with Timberline to answer their top five questions on certified wood and how their customers can use sustainable materials in their projects. Here are a few of the questions:
TL: How does wood certified to the SFI standard fit into green building programs?
Abusow: Building materials have a huge impact on the environment. Wood from responsibly managed forests is an excellent choice for any new construction or renovation —residential or commercial — thanks to its desirable aesthetic qualities, numerous environmental characteristics and its easy, adaptable use in construction.
Trees sequester and store carbon while producing oxygen, reducing greenhouse gases and improving air quality. Besides clean air, forests provide many other benefits, including clean water, wildlife habitat, valuable products and jobs.
Third-party forest certification standards like the SFI’s offer a proof point that the forest has been managed for multiple values — and will be renewed. SFI’s chain-of-custody certification and certified sourcing provide alternative ways to practice responsible sourcing for construction or renovation projects.
Many credible green building rating systems such as the International Green Construction Code, The National Green Building Standard (ANSI/ICC 700-2012) and Green Globes (ANSI/GBI 01-2010) recognize SFI. They see the value of multiple forest certification standards and offer credits for products certified to these forest certification standards.
TL: What is the future of the SFI program and certified wood in general?
Abusow: Most people want to ensure that forests remain healthy for future generations. That’s why we’ve seen a rise in the use of third-party forest certification programs such as SFI. These programs offer a market incentive to landowners to keep managed forests as forests that can provide economic return while supporting environmental values and local communities.
SFI has a firm commitment to continual improvement. The SFI Standard is reviewed through an open public process every five years to incorporate the latest scientific information and respond to emerging issues. In fact, the 18-month review process leading to the SFI 2015-2019 Standard begins this year and will include two public comment periods and several regional workshops. We invite your customers and readers to participate.
TL: What’s the bottom line on SFI and green building that a cabinetmaker should know?
Abusow: Companies should ask their suppliers for products certified to the SFI standard. This will get the suppliers to build demand and ensure they stock the supply of products certified to the SFI standard, and raise awareness throughout the entire supply chain.
If, at the end of the day, you want to support North American forests, conservation, jobs and communities, you should ask for products certified to the SFI standard. SFI is a program designed and implemented specifically for U.S. and Canadian forests. This is the big reason many stakeholders have urged the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to revise the forest certification credit to allow all credible forest certification standards to be recognized in the LEED rating tools. After all, only 10 percent of the world’s forests are certified to any of the forest certification standards, and recognizing them equally could align well with USGBC’s interest in recognizing leaders and market transformation.
Also, we all have a role and can make a difference to increase responsible forestry today. If you see a procurement policy or a green building program like LEED that doesn’t recognize SFI, you should stand up with the 100 members of congress and governors who have voiced their concern over LEED’s lack of recognition of well-managed certified forest products right here at home.
It’s simple: whenever you and your clients shop, try to look for, ask about and buy SFI. Check with your suppliers and retailers. It’s your assurance, and theirs, that a wood product comes from responsibly managed and legal forests.
To read all 5 questions and the full interview in the Summer 2013 issue or to sign up for Timberline’s Newsletter visit: http://www.timberproducts.com/About_Us/Newsletter/