WASHINGTON — An online petition
launched by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
(SFI) is calling for changes to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) green building standard to allow for all "wood and paper products [to be] certified [by] independent, respected and credible standards," according to a press release
The petition, which has garnered over 5,000 signatures internationally since its launch on March 16, 2010, wants the U.S. Green Building Council
(USGBC) to accept certifications from organizations such as the SFI, the American Tree Farm System
(ATFS), Canadian Standards Association
(CSA), the Forest Stewardship Council
(FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
(PEFC), the release stated.
Kathy Abusow, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, said: "Our online petition has sparked a groundswell of support, providing a collective voice to the vast community of those who care deeply about sustainable forestry and feel strongly that USGBC should open LEED to SFI and other credible forest certification standards. The thousands who have signed this petition are joined by many forestry and sustainability experts in demanding change. It is counterintuitive that green building discriminates against domestic sources of supply and we hope that the USGBC will come to realize that this doesn''t make strong environmental, economic or social sense."
According to the release, the USGBC currently only recognizes FSC-certified wood and paper products, meaning three-quarters of forests in North America are not recognized by the USGBC.
Many government leaders, including Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
, are stepping up to bat and voicing their support to expand the criteria for LEED-certified wood and paper products, the release noted.