NLBMDA applauds the new LEED alternative compliance path for sustainable forest management certifications other than the program of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the approval of its new pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) on April 5. The pilot ACP is technically an addenda to the LEED green building rating system and will be applicable to both LEED 2009 and the LEED v4 systems.
NLBMDA was an active proponent of LEED’s recognition of the forest management programs operating in the North American market when establishing its wood credit within the LEED points system. Reflective of this position in the LEED v4 development, NLBMDA called for recognition of the programs developed by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
“We have long believed this inclusionary approach would leverage the years of forest management practices employed in the United States and Canada and will contribute to the larger environmental goals achievable in North American forests,” said Jonathan Paine, NLBMDA President and CEO.
In recommendations filed with the USGBC during the fourth round considerations for LEED v4, NLBMDA previously voiced concerns that the LEED benchmark scheme failed to enhance the use of lumber products derived from forest certification schemes appropriate to North America. The insistence to benchmark recognition of wood in construction to FSC alone was not effectively informed by realities of the North American market place and rendered the LEED wood credit meaningless in most local building markets in North America. NLBMDA will continue to be a strong advocate for recognition of wood and lumber products from the sources recognized by ACP, and looks forward to LEED’s greater recognition of wood and lumber products in its points system. “We continue to call on USGBC to complete the important step it has taken with ACP and adopt a stance of neutrality in LEED relative to all valid forest management programs in the North American market,” said Paine.