You may have seen recent coverage in Canadian Wood Products and the LBM Journal that point to reasons as to why the US Green Building Council should open the LEED rating system. As the single largest forest certification standard in the world, SFI is committed to promoting responsible forest management in North America and responsible fiber sourcing worldwide. We think opening LEED is a crucial step in advancing responsible forestry and strengthening green building in the U.S. and Canada.
SFI Canadian Wood Products Editor Bill Tice states, “The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) is taking a leadership role and has been the most outspoken when it comes to raising awareness that the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system needs to recognize all credible certification programs.” He also points out that we’re not alone, listing significant support from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, National Association of State Foresters President Steven Koehn, Mother Nature Network Director of Environmental Affairs Chuck Leavell and Society of American Foresters President Michael Goergen, among others.
In the LBM Journal article titled “SFI vs. FSC”, John Wagner brings up another valid point in regards to inclusivity. “Does the freezing out of SFI (and other standards) foster greener, more sustainably harvested lumber and wood fiber? No, it doesn’t.” At SFI, we believe that in order to better promote and increase green building projects, as well as benefit the North American economy, LEED must open their standard to all credible forest certification standards.
I want to thank you for your continued efforts dedicated to advancing the USGBC’s policy to one that recognizes multiple forest certification standards including SFI. With changes to LEED being decided in coming weeks, we encourage you to voice support now more than ever. Circulate articles like those previously mentioned to those who support green building and the forestry community. Encourage friends and colleagues to sign the petition if they haven’t already. As we engage in the USGBC process, we want to ensure we do everything we can to make sure USGBC voters and the general public have accurate information about our program.