Saturday, December 15, 2012

Obama inauguration hypocrisy on 'green' wood

The federal government is pushing the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system and wood certified by the he Forest Stewardship Council. Ninety percent of the FSC forests are outside of the United States. But for President Obama's inauguration next month, the feds are pounding their chests over using domestic wood approved not by the FSC, but the the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Lumber approved by the SFI meets or beats FSC standards, by the way.

If it's good enough for an inauguration, why isn't it good enough for the rest of us?
SHOT: ALTERNATIVE-CERTIFIED TIMBER GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE INAUGURAL - "Forest advocates give inauguration wood thumbs up: The massive amount of lumber being used to build the platform in from of the Capitol for President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony is getting a seal of approval from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The wood, organization President and Chief Executive Officer Kathy Abusow says, meets its 'sustainable forestry initiative standard,' which in part takes into account measures used when logging to protect water quality, biodiversity and wildlife. The wood comes from Washington state and is provided by Sierra Pacific Industries." ("Morning Influence," Dave Levinthal & Anna Palmer, Politico, 12/13/12)

CHASE: BUT NOT FOR FEDERAL BUREAUCRATS - "Today, the government’s primary measuring stick is the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system, which scores how green a building is based on everything from its construction materials to its proximity to mass transit. Buildings can be LEED certified or achieve even higher degrees of greenness at the LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum levels. The General Services Administration, which manages most of the government's building projects, requires that all buildings it builds be LEED Gold certified. … To get LEED credit, any wood used must also be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which certifies wood from more than 50 countries." ("It's not easy going green: GSA seeks better standard," Andy Medici, Federal Times, 05/12/12)
Related post:

LEED's seal-of-approval forests have illusory benefits

USA Today exposes more LEED green waste

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