Earth Day founder highlights reliability of #FSC standards in #LEED

Earth Day founder and recognized leader on conservation policy Denis Hayes cautions the U.S. Green Building Council not to let its prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program be “diluted” by allowing timber industry-set standards for forest management to pass as equal to those of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), “the gold standard for good forestry.”

For 10 years, the LEED rating system has rewarded responsible forest management through its MRc7 Certified Wood credit, awarding one point per building project for the use of FSC-certified wood. LEED demand has been a principal driver in bringing more than 116 million acres of U.S. and Canadian forestland into compliance with FSC standards.

“If the U.S. Green Building Council yields to timber industry demands to include the weaker SFI [Sustainable Forestry Initiative] standards for forest products,” writes Hayes “[…] LEED certification would lose much of the green cachet it currently enjoys; FSC would suffer a serious blow; and our forests would be the losers.” Denis’ remarks appeared in a Seattle Times op-ed on April 12.

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