JANUARY 2012

Maine executive order puts forest certification on equal footing

Maine Governor Paul LePage signed an executive order directing that “any new or expanded state buildings shall incorporate green building standards that give certification credits equally to forest products grown, manufactured and certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard, Forest Stewardship Council, American Tree Farm System and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification systems.”

“Inclusive and leading programs such as ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings and the ANSI/ICC 700-2008: National Green Building Standard for residential construction would meet the requirements set out for state construction in Maine. However, green building rating tools like the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED rating tools that do not recognize forest certification equally would not meet the requirements of this executive order, in our opinion,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)

The Maine Executive Order comes after 100 Members of Congress and Governors, and over 6,000 individuals around the world, encouraged the USGBC to reward wood from North American forests by equally recognizing their LEED rating system. Currently, the LEED rating tool fails to recognize nearly three-quarters of North America's certified forests leaving builders to give preference to FSC wood offshore over SFI certified wood in North America.