FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2012
By Guest Blogger: William V. Street Jr.
Director, Woodworkers Department
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is asking for comments on the draft language for its LEED rating system. SFI Inc. has invited views on the treatment of third-party forest certification, which must be “FSC or better” according to the latest USGBC credit language. In this post, William V. Street Jr., Director of the Woodworkers Department, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a member of the SFI Board of Directors, and chair of the PEFC Board of Directors, looks at the benefits of SFI certification for workers.
The IAMAW (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) represents more forestry and wood workers then any other union in the United States. We have members who work in SFI-certified forests and FSC-certified forests. We have some that work in forests certified by both systems on any given day. We support all certification systems that can deliver sustainable forestry in a way that protects forest ecosystems as well as forest dependent communities and our members.
The forest landscape in North America has been altered by humans for more than 3,000 years. Sometimes in a way that is sustainable and sometimes in ways that are not. During this period, there were times when both natural and human resources were exploited. What is critical to our members is that forests be managed in such a way as to ensure their long-term survival and viability while at the same time promoting thriving rural communities, safe jobs, and decent work. From this perspective, SFI has several advantages for workers that FSC does not.