A total of 92 secondary wood products manufacturers of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA) earned their SFI 2015-2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard certification at the same time, making their group the largest one to be certified to the SFI COC all at once. Any SFI COC Standard-certified wood products sold allow these organisations dealing in hardwood to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits through the LEED Alternative Compliance Path.
“Architects and builders want assurances that their buying decisions are also sound environmental choices. Using hardwood products certified to the SFI standard is a way for our members to supply the products to their customers that are required to earn the LEED credits architects are seeking as a part of today’s green initiative,” WPMA Executive Director, Philip Bibeau, said. “Certification to the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard gives our members added credibility with those customers.”
LEED has demonstrated its ability time and again to push the utilisation of certified products and materials across the construction industry. At the same time, it also ups the industry’s ante, compelling builders, architects, and consumers to validate the legitimacy of the wood materials and harvested wood used in building projects under LEED, thus highlighting LEED’s function as a standard for environmental leadership.
“We are excited to see these 92 unique hardwood manufacturers positioning themselves to benefit from SFI certification. We are also pleased to be able to offer them enhanced recognition from environmentally conscious consumers,” Jason Metnick, Senior Vice President of Customer Affairs at SFI, said. A study conducted in 2016 by the Natural Marketing Institute showed that of the 80,000 US (United States) consumers surveyed, 36 per cent – or 28,800 – could recognise the SFI logo and point out what it represented, more than any other certification standard also shown.
The WPMA also stands to gain from the growing number of hardwood forest products certified by the SFI. “We’re seeing more and more lands getting certified in major hardwood producing regions in Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri and Virginia,” Metnick elaborated.
SFI certifications also help situate the WPMA and allow it to leverage on the increasing utilisation of wood products in structures as a way to alleviate the effects of climate change as wood emits far less greenhouse gas over their lifecycle compared to other building materials. Wood products that accumulate carbon assist in slowing and mitigating climate change, rather than other building materials which leave a far larger carbon footprint.
Even though any recent innovations in green and sustainable building and the following environmental aid are positive statements, many of the good characteristics of the wood rely on whether the forest it has been harvested from is managed well. Wood that meets the SFI Forest Management certification offers evidence that the woodlands have been managed according to a wide range of economic, environmental, and social guidelines and values – not just today, but also in the future.