WASHINGTON — The U.S. Green Building Council will be voting on a proposal to change the requirements for certified wood under the LEED program and remove the exclusivity of certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The proposed revisions under MR Credits 1, 2 and 3 read: "Purchases contain at least 50% wood certified by a forest certification system that is recognized after evaluation against the USGBC Forest Certification Benchmark." The ballot for voting ends midnight, Nov. 23.

The FSC has already issued a statement denouncing the change. Claiming the revisions would be a “big step backwards,” the group said, “The revisions would make key principles of exemplary forest management optional rather than mandatory. They would also allow new certifications by groups without balanced and independent governance.”  FSC said a dozen environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace, back its position.

In a statement sent to ProSales magazine, Kathy Abusow, Sustainable Forestry Initiative president and CEO said, "It's time for the USGBC to heed the advice of more than 6,000 people globally, including 12 U.S. governors and 88 members of Congress, who are asking the USGBC to recognize all forest certification programs, especially those right here in our communities across North America."

View the LEED proposal/ccmsdocuments/Woodworking-Network/Certified Wood Revisions_LEED for EB-O&M_clean.pdf

Read the FSC statement

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