Now is the Time for USGBC to Say Yes to Healthy Working Forests

The U.S. Green Building Council has announced a fourth public comment period for its draft LEED 2012 language – starting Tuesday May 1 and ending May 15.  Based on comments submitted during the third public comment period, there is clear and strong support for USGBC to open up the “Responsible Extraction of Raw Materials” credit and allow SFI certified products to gain equal recognition in the LEED rating tools.

SFI opened up our blog for comments about why USGBC should recognize SFI, including areas where our program is without question stronger than the Forest Stewardship Council – and we were both impressed and gratified by the response. (If you missed the posts, we have pulled them together in one on-line document.)

I summarized many of these feelings when I sent an open letter to USGBC leadership last week setting out 10 reasons why LEED should recognize all credible forest certification standards.

We aim to keep the discussion going through the fourth comment period, and beyond. This issue is just too important, and at SFI we care too much for our forests and communities. LEED is a precedent setting standard that can promote or undermine responsible forestry through its actions – let’s make sure USGBC knows this and acts accordingly.

Remember you have May 1 to May 15 to comment on the next draft, and if you are a member of USGBC, you have to opt in by May 1 so you are eligible to vote.

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