Rumble In The Lumberyard: FSC Wins This Round

For the last four years, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has been fighting off the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and other certification programs in their attempts to have their programs recognized by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and get that single LEED point for sustainably harvested lumber. The proposed changes that would have opened up the certification were put to a vote and the results are in: The status quo remains. Craig Webb of Ecohome writes "The 55% "yes" to 42% "no" vote [2/3 support was needed] represents the rejection of several years' worth of work by a USGBC committee and guarantees even more fighting over one of green construction's most bitterly debated issues." But it is also a big victory for FSC.


Click image to enlarge; ForestEthics diagram detailing influences on SFI

SFI wrapped itself in the American flag and claimed that FSC favoured foreign sources; it was really a tautological argument given that SFI was created by American lumber companies to undermine FSC. It purports to be separate from the industry now, and responds to ForestEthics' charges here. But now SFI CEO Kathy Abusow is taking a different tack, noting that one point out of 130 isn't worth it, especially when American forest worker jobs are at stake:

"For now," Abusow said, "the building community should forgo the one point in the certified wood credit and use SFI-certified products in LEED buildings to demonstrate their pride and support for North American forests, communities, and jobs."

When logic doesn't work, one can always try patriotism.

More on FSC vs SFI:
Rumble in the Lumberyard: FSC vs SFI
Is LEED Breaking Up with FSC -Certified Wood?
Rumble in the Lumberyard: Major Environmental Groups Support FSC ...
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