WASHINGTON – Ninety-two secondary manufacturers of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA) simultaneously earned certification to the SFI 2015-2019 Chain-of-Custody (COC) Standard, making this the largest single group to certify to the SFI COC Standard at once.

Wood products certified SFI COC allow the hardwood organizations that sell them to be eligible for LEED credits through the LEED Alternative Compliance Path.

"Architects and builders want assurances that their buying decisions are also sound environmental choices. Using hardwood products certified to the SFI standard is a way for our members to supply the products to their customers that are required to earn the LEED credits architects are seeking as a part of today's green initiative," said Philip Bibeau, WPMA executive director. "Certification to the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard gives our members added credibility with those customers."

LEED is a proven tool that drives the use of certified materials and products across the construction industry. It also raises the bar for all players; requiring architects, builders and consumers to verify the legality of harvested wood and wood fiber materials used in forest-based products that are used in LEED building projects. This underpins LEED's role as an environmental leadership standard.

"We are excited to see these 92 unique hardwood manufacturers positioning themselves to benefit from SFI certification. We are also pleased to be able to offer them enhanced recognition from environmentally conscious consumers," said Jason Metnick, Senior Vice President of Customer Affairs at SFI.

Data from a 2016 Natural Marketing Institute survey of 80,000 U.S. consumers showed 36 percent recognize the SFI logo and what it stands for, more than any other certification standard.

The WPMA will also benefit from an expanding supply of hardwood forest products certified to SFI. "We're seeing more and more lands getting certified in major hardwood producing regions in Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri and Virginia," Metnick said.

Certification to SFI will also help position the WPMA to benefit from the rising use of wood products in buildings as an option for mitigating climate change, says WPMA.