USGBC announces new LEED forestry guidelines
By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
April 8 - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced new guidelines for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, creating an alternative compliance path (ACP) that will recognize wood and paper from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Program.
The new guidelines are part of an integrated approach to encouraging environmentally responsible forest management and eliminating illegal wood from building material supply chains.
"We applaud leaders from the U.S. Green Building Council, as this change across all LEED rating tools takes a stance against illegal wood and reinforces the value of certified and responsibly sourced forest products," says Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI. "SFI employs rigorous standards that ensure not only a responsibly managed forest, but also that only legal sources of fibre are brought into SFI-certified supply chains."
LEED, one of the leading green building certification programs used worldwide, awards credits, certifications and rankings to projects based on seven distinct impact goals: reversing climate change, enhancing human health, protecting water resources and biodiversity, promoting sustainable material resources, building a greener economy and enhancing social equity and community quality of life.
The new guidelines require architects, builders and consumers to verify the legality of forest products used in LEED buildings, and awards credit for the use of forest products certified to programs like SFI.
SFI is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. Their forest certification standards are based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value.
The ACP will apply to all LEED v4 rating systems including Homes v4 and to all LEED 2009 rating systems.