The undersigned urge the U.S. Green Building Council to open the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to wood and paper products certified to independent, respected and credible standards, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). We join with forestry and sustainability experts across North America and the world that recognize these standards and their crucial role in promoting responsible forestry.
More than three-quarters of North American certified forests are certified to SFI, ATFS or CSA, while Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests account for less than one quarter. The majority of FSC’s global supply comes from outside the U.S. and Canada. An unintended consequence of the USGBC’s current FSC-only policy is that builders, architects and designers seeking the forest certification credit may source FSC-certified products from offshore instead of domestic products certified to SFI, ATFS and CSA.
For the sake of our forests, our communities, the tens of thousands of family foresters who make their livelihoods from forestry and the future of green building across North America and globally, it is time for USGBC to do the right thing and recognize all credible forest certification standards: SFI, ATFS, CSA, FSC, and PEFC.
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