Despite the position of their American counterpart, Green Building Council programs in other parts of the world are taking an inclusive approach to forest certification instead of limiting themselves to just the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The latest is Green Building Council Italia, which signed a protocol agreement (here is a link to an English translation) with PEFC Italy to promote the benefits of forest certification and the use of certified wood products in the building sector. You may recall that at the start of 2010, the Green Building Council of Australia began to give equal consideration in its Green Star rating tool to forest certification standards accepted by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) as well as FSC.
Italy and Australia join many respected green building rating systems that recognize certified wood as an excellent choice for green building. Others that offer credits for products certified to FSC, as well as PEFC-endorsed standards like SFI, include the ANSI/ICC 700-2008:National Green Building Standard, the ANSI-GBI 01-2010 Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, Built Green Canada, Green Globes, CASBEE (Japan) and BREEAM (United Kingdom).
We are seeing growing evidence that there is widespread public and professional support for recognizing all credible forest certification standards – check out our newest fact sheet SFI: What Others are Saying. I am optimistic that this reality, when combined with the fact that U.S. Green Building Council members turned down a proposed LEED certification benchmark last year, means we can work with USGBC to find a way to recognize the value of wood and certification as a proof point of responsible forestry. You will find the latest news about USGBC, LEED and SFI on our update website.