Betreff: Stop Timber Industry Greenwashing - Protect Green Building Standards
Datum: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 20:47:53 -0800

Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 11:32:19 -0500
Subject: Stop Timber Industry Greenwashing - Protect Green Building Standards
From: Randi Spivak <>

ACTION ALERT January 3, 2005 Please forward as appropriate Protect endangered Forests and Wildlife Stop Timber Industry Greenwashing - Protect Green Building Standards Comments Needed by February 1 The timber industry's American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) is pressuring the Green Building Council to promote wood from forests logged under the AF&PA's "business as usual" Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards. The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) is the most powerful timber trade association in the world. Its member companies include the largest loggers in the United States and Canada and the largest wholesale distributors of global wood products. The construction and renovation of commercial and residential buildings in the U.S. consumes vast quantities of wood often from endangered forests or forests managed as ecologically impoverished tree plantations. The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards encourage architects and builders to use wood from more environmentally benign sources, like forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. LEED stands for "Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design." The U.S. Green Building Council is now soliciting public comments for LEED's New Construction Rating System. If LEED credits the SFI certification system it would make the LEED's standards misleading and ineffective at reducing environmental impacts, since the SFI allows and certifies destructive, business-as-usual industrial logging, such as large-scale clearcutting and logging of old growth and other endangered forests. The SFI also doesn't track most of its wood, and allows non-SFI wood to be marketed as SFI certified. Please urge the US Green Building Council to: 1. Not give credit or recognition to wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Canadian Standards Association, or other weak, industry-dominated logging standards. The SFI allows and certifies non-renewable practices like: the logging of old growth, imperiled species’ habitats, and unprotected wilderness/roadless areas; the elimination of biodiversity through the conversion of diverse natural forests to monocultural tree farms; and logging at rates faster than trees can re-grow. The SFI also allows other harmful, business-as-usual logging practices like gigantic clearcuts, excessive use of toxic chemicals, and management for only a few of a forest's native tree and wildlife species. The SFI also lacks a mandatory "chain of custody" system to verify where SFI "certified" wood comes from. 2. Only give credit and give recognition to wood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and other systems that provide equal or greater protection to sensitive, non-renewable forest resources and forests’ long-term ecological productivity. Public comments on the proposed revised LEED standards (LEED NC) are due February 1. To comment, go to: <> . The standards are at: <> . More on the AF&PA SFI: Visit < > for:
· Photos of SFI certified forest destruction.
· Factsheets with examples of SFI certified companies that
destroy endangered forests.
· Factsheets and reports explaining problems with the SFI’s standards.
· Factsheets comparing the SFI and the Forest Stewardship Council.

The SFI is also considering some minor changes to its standards. For
an analysis, contact Daniel Hall at American Lands Alliance at

More on the LEED Standards:
The LEED New Construction (NC) standard is the USGBC's flagship
standard, and influences other standards like the new LEED standard
for homes. The proposed changes to LEED NC would still provide
credit for FSC certified wood (i.e., MR Credit 7). However, a new
"renewable resource" standard (MR Credit 6) would also provide credit
for use of any wood from "sustainable management systems." These
"sustainable management systems" are poorly defined, but explicitly
include the AF&PA's SFI and other weak forest certification systems.

Standards for renewable materials need to look beyond whether new
trees are grown, and examine whether the ecosystems that produced the
trees are also renewed. The FSC is the only forestry system that
meets LEED's goal of transforming building practices by recognizing
the most (i.e., top 25%) environmentally responsible practices. The
SFI, by contrast, certifies business-as-usual logging on most
industrial forests in the U.S. The new LEED standard's distinction
between certification and "sustainable management systems" will not
help much, since the new standard would applaud the SFI as being
"sustainable" and give builders credit for using SFI wood.

Randi Spivak
American Lands Alliance
Executive Director
726th 7th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202.547.9029
Fax: 202.547.9213 **Please visit our new retooled website! Newly updated and retooled, Is an in-depth, extensive resource for forest activists. American Lands Alliance
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