New LEED compliance path creates market opportunity for responsibly managed forests

Doyle_Simons_Fade_blogGuest blog by:
Doyle R. Simons
President and CEO
Weyerhaeuser Company

The U.S. Green Building Council’s decision to recognize the SFI Standards is good news for forests and great news for green building. Opening another sustainable path for earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits means people who want to build with sustainably sourced wood products now have more options.

Responsibly sourced wood products and green building go hand in hand. Green building aims to reduce the overall impact of the built environment, and our sustainable wood products complement this goal perfectly.

At Weyerhaeuser, sustainability is a core value. Since 2005, we have planted more than one billion trees. As these trees grow, they use power from the sun to absorb carbon and develop into a strong, beautiful, renewable building material. These forest products continue storing carbon, becoming a part of the solution for addressing the global challenges posed by climate change.

Our 13 million acres of US timberlands are all independently certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. We also operate 38 wood products manufacturing facilities in North America. Combined with SFI Fiber Sourcing certification and SFI Chain of Custody certification, which recognizes American Tree Farm System certification, we’ve made a strong and transparent commitment to sustainability.

Our founder, Frederick Weyerhaeuser, said: “This is not for us, nor for our children, but for our grandchildren.” We have been engaged in sustainable forestry before the term even existed. This long-term thinking is the essence of sustainability — making smart choices that balance the needs of today with the needs of future generations.

Given the developments in forest certification over the last 10 years, the time was right for the U.S. Green Building Council to respond to the advice of many forestry experts, government officials and conservationists: re-examine the role of forest certification in the LEED rating system. We’re pleased to see they made the right decision for our forests and the built environment.

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