Late on Friday, Oct. 25, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Energy that federal agencies have the option to use either the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating tools or Green Building Initiative's Green Globes when choosing a third-party green building certification system.
The recommendation is a very positive outcome, putting Green Globes on par with LEED in federal use of green building rating systems. GSA policy for many years had been to use only LEED, which awards its certified wood credit only forproducts certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Green Globes, on the other hand, recognizes Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CSA), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and FSC standards in awarding points for certified wood. This opens the door to greater use of SFI-certified wood in federal building construction and renovation.
SFI supports policies that expand adoption of green building and consider use of other globally accepted, credible certification standards like SFI. This GSA announcement was triggered by a requirement in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that GSA issue a recommendation to DOE every five years on how the federal government can best use certification systems to measure the design and performance of the federal government's construction and major renovation projects.
Nadine Block is vice president of Government Affairs for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative