When you think of green building, you may think of award-winning architectural feats that are light years beyond your household budget. But the fact is, more and more green building materials are becoming available to the average person, whether you’re renovating your kitchen, adding a new deck or replacing a window.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has developed standards and product labels so you, and builders and contractors, can easily identify wood that has been sourced from forests that are responsibly managed. SFI is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. Compliance with SFI standards is audited by independent third parties. Certification to SFI standards offers a proof point that the forest has been managed for multiple environmental, social and economic values.As more individuals, governments and businesses demand sustainably sourced materials, more of them are becoming available. Green building industry leaders, experts and retailers work together through venues such as the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo to share ideas and stimulate affordable solutions for customers.
You can feel great about choosing wood and you are not alone in doing so. Architects and builders choose wood because it looks great, has numerous environmental characteristics – including renewability – and is easy to work with. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, sequestering and storing the carbon while producing oxygen — this reduces greenhouse gases and improves air quality. Buying wood also supports the many other benefits of working forests, including clean air and water, habitat for wildlife and employment for local communities.
Many of wood’s positive attributes depend in part on whether the forest resource is responsibly managed and renewed. Third party- forest certification standards offer a proof point that the forest has been managed for multiple environmental, social and economic values — today and into the future.
Forests bring us things we can’t imagine living without, like clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink, outdoor recreation and the many thousands of products we use every day. To find out more about green building and how using wood materials certified to SFI helps forests sustain us visit: www.sfiprogram.org.