“Enough already! For the past decade, the USGBC has given the Forest Stewardship Council a monopoly on wood from its forests being used in LEED Projects. It’s time for the USGBC to open the door to other wood certification programs.”
We couldn’t agree more with the words written by Robert Cassidy, editor-in-chief of Building Design + Construction. His recent editorial discusses several points we’ve been bringing up for quite some time:
- The USGBC does not require other building products, such as steel and concrete, to have third-party environmental certification to achieve a credit. Yet third-party wood certified to internationally recognized standards like SFI have to clear 49 mandatory benchmarks just to be considered for a single LEED point.
- Other entities have trended toward an inclusive stance and now recognize SFI, FSC and other third-party forest certification systems.
- The majority of FSC-certified forests are located overseas, while SFI-certified forests are located in the United States and Canada. The fact is, more than three quarters of the certified forests in North America are certified to SFI, ATFS and CSA, and less than 25% of the certified area is certified to FSC. Three quarters of the certified land base is being unfairly shut out – this is about having a level playing field for domestic responsibly managed sources. The core of the issue is that there is no credit for forests certified to SFI, ATFS or CSA, but there is for FSC, whether it is sourced domestically or from countries as far away as Russia, China, Brazil, etc…
We encourage you to read his article in full. If you haven’t done so yet, add your name to the petition urging the USGBC to open the LEED rating system. We are delighted to see an increasing number of advocates taking a stand!