Talking about the green movement in the woodworking industry can lead to some pretty heated discussion. Opinions are all over the board on this subject with those in favor and those not. Some people think it’s a fad and others think it’s here to stay. One thing that most people can agree on is that there needs to be more education available about green is and what exactly it means to go green.

Additionally, there are so many options out there for going green and achieving green certification, that it can become confusing for a company to choose the right option. Nearly all of the woodworking associations offer their own green standards and certifications.

With so many options out there for going green, where does one begin? Many turn to the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. As with everything else there are arguments for and against this. One of the most often repeated arguments against LEED is that fact that it is a points-based system, and in the overall scheme, woodworking does not count for many points in the construction of a building.

Because of all of the public’s attention to green, it seems that everyone is eager to prove how green they are in one way or another, but by whose definition? I have been to companies that claim to be green because they use more fuel-efficient vehicles to transport their goods. Other companies have taken measures to reduce the amount of natural resources they consume on a day-to-day basis. Some are switching, fully or partially, to environmentally responsible wood to manufacture their products.

One thing I hear time and again from the savvy presidents, CEOs and owners that I talk to is that going green just makes sense as a business. Think about it. How would reducing waste, reducing the use of natural gas and electricity, and finding new ways to manufacture your products more effectively not make sense? But where would one turn to if he wanted to learn about such things?

Well, on October 28-29, Wood & Wood Products and Purdue University, in cooperation with 19 associations and organizations, will be putting on The Dollars & Sense of going green, a two-day conference to help woodworkers learn about the state of the green building products movement in North America and how it affects you and your business. If you are able, you might want to check it out.

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