Green Wood Standards for your home or office.
What is FSC?
FSC is a commitment to good forestry practices, carried from forest to consumer.
The FSC is an international non-profit organization founded in 1993 as a voluntary and market-based mechanism for ensuring that the world’s forests are managed in an environmentally responsible, socially acceptable and economically viable manner.
Under FSC certification, forestry companies are independently audited to meet the FSC’s strict forest management standards. Beyond the forest, all producers along the supply chain must be chain of custody certified. At every stage of manufacturing or distribution, the fiber going into a product is tracked and identified. The FSC system not only makes certain that virgin fiber used in a product is from a sustainable source, but it ensures that claims regarding the recycled content of products are verifiable. In an unbroken chain of commitment from forest to consumer, the FSC label carries the promise that a product comes from a forest friendly source.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about FSC is that environmental groups the world over agree that when it comes to responsible forestry FSC is the only credible assurance for consumers.
“FSC has the highest environmental standard for forest management of any certification system in the world.” Monte Hummel, President Emeritus, World Wildlife Fund Canada
Consumers, business, government agencies and communities are increasingly concerned about the way our forests are used. And they’re savvy: empty promises about the environment don’t cut it anymore. That’s why FSC certification is rigorous: it delivers on its promise. Community and Aboriginal Peoples’ consultation is built in. Fragile ecosystems, cultural needs, and workers’ rights are protected. Add the guarantee that the FSC label tracks directly back to an approved source, and you have real value. On the ground this means real benefits:
- Waterways are protected
- Wildlife habitat and species are protected
- High conservation value forests are preserved
- Forest management practices are monitored annually
- Genetically modified trees are not used
- Pesticide use is reduced
- Local people are involved in forest management
- The rights of Aboriginal Peoples are respected
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating system was developed by the U.S. and Canadian Green Building Councils. The LEED® rating system aims to assure environmentally sustainable design and construction by rating buildings on their ability to meet criteria in the following six categories:
Sustainable site development
Energy and atmosphere
Material selection and resource use
Indoor environmental quality
Innovation and design processes
In each of these categories there are points available for the use of specific design features, technologies or materials. Of the 70 points outlined in the LEED® Canada Standard, 17 are relevant to wood, and one credit is specific to the use of FSC-certified wood products. The intent of Materials and Resources Credit 7 (‘Certified Wood’) is to encourage environmentally responsible forest management, and the credit is provided to buildings where 50% by cost of the wood used is FSC-certified.
There are other credits that can be combined with the Certified Wood credit so that a building project can earn multiple credits by using FSC-certified wood. For example, if a building uses FSC-certified wood (as per criteria of Credit MR 7), which is regionally sourced (as per criteria of Credit MR 5) then the building can get the MR 7 point and potentially 2 points under MR 5.
A LEED® for Homes ratings system is currently being developed and is anticipated to launch in Canada in 2008. While currently focused on commercial buildings, the Canada Green Building Council has launched a pilot project and aims to introduce LEED for Homes Canada in the future.
For more information about the LEED® green building rating system, visit FSC-certified wood products