Protecting Green Building Standards

Earth Day founder Dennis Hayes says timber industry standards are not stringent enough to qualify as "green."

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Dennis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970 and International Chairman of Earth Day 2010, issued a reminder about protecting the highest standards for green building labels.

Hayes cautioned the U.S. Green Building Council not to let the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program be "diluted" by allowing timber industry standards for forest management to pass as equal to those set by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). With the rising popularity in building green homes, the demand for certified timber has increased exponentially. Although the FSC has worked to promote the responsible and sustainable management of the world's forests, Hayes said, "If the U.S. Green Building Council yields to timber industry demands to include the weaker SFI [Sustainable Forest Initiative] standards for forest products…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."

Read more about the struggles between FSC and SFI and the fight to protect the nation's forests in Christine MacDonald's piece “The Green Building Battles".

SOURCE: Forest Stewardship Council.