Nadine Block, SFI Senior Director of Government Outreach, talks about a recently published op-ed that advocates for an inclusive LEED rating system.
Last week, The Oregonian published an op-ed written by four leaders in Oregon’s forestry community, including State Forester Marvin Brown, who also serves as board chair for SFI. Other signatories include Clint Bentz, David Ford and Steve Wilson. These experts cite benefits for Oregon’s forests, the economy and green building in the state as reasons for supporting the presence of multiple forest certification programs.
They write, “With a lifetime of first-hand experience and extensive background in the application of forest certification programs in our state, we find it bewildering that the Green Building Council has not opened its LEED policy to all credible forest certification programs … In Oregon, our forests and communities benefit from the improvements resulting from the work of all organizations that certify sustainable forest practices.”
The piece also notes support for an inclusive LEED policy from Oregon Representatives Kurt Schrader, Greg Walden and David Wu, and Governor Ted Kulongoski.
We agree—with most of Oregon’s certified forest lands certified by SFI and programs SFI recognizes, such as ATFS, it’s imperative to open the policy to all credible forest certification programs. That’s a trend across the U.S. and Canada, where more than three quarters of our certified forests meet or are recognized by SFI. It’s also critical that the USGBC recognize wood’s superior environmental benefits and encourage the use of wood products in green building.