LEED moves to accept SFI, ATFS with FSC


The U.S. Green Building Council released a pilot program to make all certified prodcuts eligible for credit in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standard. Previously, only wood and paper prodcuts from the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) were elligible for the credit. This pilot program will expand the elligibility to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and the American Tree Farm System®. This pilot program is a way to test changes in the LEED standard before making permanent changes.

Builders, contractors, and architects are required to have 100% of the forest products from legal sources, 70% from responsible sources, and the remainder from certified sources as evidenced by a chain-of-custody certification in order to receive the LEED point. LEED recognizes all aspects of SFI, FSC, and Tree Farm as legal sources. All aspects of SFI, FSC, and Tree Farm are recognized as responsible sources except for FSC Controlled Wood. All portions of FSC, SFI, and Tree Farm are recognized as chain-of-custody sources except for SFI Fiber Sourcing and FSC Controlled Wood.

This is potentially huge news for SFI and Tree Farm. Certification for the solid wood secondary industry; such as cabinets and hardwood flooring, is almost entirely driven by the demand for FSC material for LEED building jobs. The will allow for forest industry business to decide which certification system meets their customer's needs as well as their own financial requirements.

More information can be found at the following links:

How to Count Your Certified Products for a LEED Point (SFI Factsheet)

SFI's Green Building Webpage

FSC Action Alert: Legal forestry alone is not worthy of LEED credit

FSC: Pilot testing legality for forest products in LEED

U.S. Green Building Council Annoucement

SFI Press Release

Hallelujah! Forest certification recognized in LEED for its role promoting legal, responsible, and certified sources (SFI blog post - goodforforests.com)

A win for tree farmers and for wood: U.S. Green Building Council to recognize ATFS (American Forest Foundation)

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