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Industry Unhappy with LEED Draft

Industry Unhappy with LEED Draft

By Staff
Date Posted: 4/1/2012


        The latest draft of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED rating tool has drawn criticism from the two major forest certification agencies in the United States.

        Both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) which has been lobbying for recognition of its forest certification standard by LEED and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which has long been the only wood certification standard recognized by LEED, are unhappy with the latest proposed draft, though for different reasons.

        SFI said that USGBC continues to put up “artificial barriers” in the draft, shutting out 75% of North America’s certified forests from the LEED credits that deal with responsible extraction of raw materials as it includes credits for certified wood that is “FSC or better.”

        “This new language raises more issues than it resolves: Who will decide what is ‘better than FSC’ and on what basis?” said Kathy Abusow, SFI president and CEO. “SFI clearly has requirements that are not matched by FSC varying standards around the world. This fact continues to go unrecognized by the USGBC, despite the fact that governors, congressmen, and 6,000 individuals have urged the USGBC not to turn its back on North American forests and recognize all forest certification standards.”

        FSC, on the other hand, said that as written, the draft represents “a step backwards from the current Certified Wood Credit.”

        “LEED continues to recognize FSC as the only credible forest certification standard, which is a great step in the right direction,” said Corey Brinkema, president of FSC-US. “To drive the market for wood from responsibly managed forests, incentives must be clear and appropriately weighted.”

        The draft can be reviewed online at www.usgbc.org/LEED2012.

 




 






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