News Analysis

Certified Wood Credit in LEED Gets Makeover

After more than two years of work, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has proposed a major change for certified wood in its LEED Rating System. Previously, LEED awarded credit to projects that used wood certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for at least half of their wood-based materials. Now, USGBC has broadened the credit, recognizing any forest-certification program that meets its criteria. A public comment period runs through September 7, 2008.

The proposed change does not substantively alter the intent of Materials and Resources credit 7, although it does add the goal of social responsibility to the existing goal of environmental responsibility. Rather, it is a response to longstanding criticism that LEED arbitrarily favors one forest-certification program, FSC, over others—particularly the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), a rival to FSC that is perceived by some environmentalists as less rigorous.

Published August 28, 2008 Permalink