With the world watching, President Barack Obama on Monday will raise his hand and take the oath of office for his second term as President of the United States.
While President Obama will stand on a figurative world stage, he’ll also be standing on a sustainable stage; the 2012 inaugural platform was constructed with lumber certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard, which includes measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.
All of us who value wood and lumber can take pride that the 10,000-square-foot presidential platform was built entirely of wood. We know that wood, when sourced responsibly, is second to none as a building material: a sustainable, natural, and renewable resource that has been used for ceremonies like this since the first days of the American republic.
Sierra Pacific Industries, a family-owned company and the second-largest producer of lumber in the United States, provided the lumber for the inaugural platform from facilities in Washington state that are third-party certified to SFI’s standard. Forest certification standards like ours are growing in adoption and recognition because businesses, consumers and policymakers recognize that the actions we take today will determine the sustainability of our forests for generations.
As forest certification continues to expand, wood products from sustainably managed forests will surely play a part in many more historical events, as well as in all of our day-to-day lives.
Kathy Abusow is president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), a fully independent, non-profit organization. The SFI program is a comprehensive and rigorous sustainable forestry certification standard that covers more than 200 million certified acres in the U.S. and Canada and includes over 1,000 organizations that use the SFI forest certification, chain of custody and fiber sourcing standard or are SFI on-product label users.
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