SFI Blog – The Future Is Now: USGBC’s Decisions Can Sustain Our Forests

Read the latest blog post on goodforforests.com.

It’s been close to a month since Draft 3 of the new LEED 2012 language was released, and my initial reaction has not changed. I’m pleased to see there are credits specific for whole building Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declarations, and I look forward to seeing how these credits get accessed moving forward.  However, I remain disappointed with requirements related to local sourcing and forest certification.

In the latest draft, local sourcing is overly restrictive and confusing – in some instances the local sourcing radius has been reduced from 500 miles to 50 miles – which is obviously not helpful for rural-based economies such as the forest products sector. And the “FSC or Better” language in the latest LEED Draft does a disservice to those organizations attempting to constructively engage and support responsible forestry and wood products from well-managed forests. Laura Thompson of Sappi said it well in her Environmental Quotient blog when she said she is “shocked that such a leading organization would write what amounts to me as a sloppy reference in a standard. ‘FSC or better’? ”