WASHINGTON, March 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ninety-two secondary manufacturers of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA) simultaneously earned certification to the SFI 2015-2019 Chain-of-Custody (COC) Standard, making this the largest single group to certify to the SFI COC Standard at once. Wood products sold as certified to the SFI COC Standard allow these hardwood organizations to be eligible 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," said Philip Bibeau, WPMA Executive Director. "Certification to the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard gives our members added credibility with those customers."
LEED is a proven tool that drives the use of certified materials and products across the construction industry. It also raises the bar for all players; requiring architects, builders and consumers to verify the legality of harvested wood and wood fiber materials used in forest-based products that are used in LEED building projects. This underpins LEED's role as an environmental leadership standard.
"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," said Jason Metnick, Senior Vice President of Customer Affairs at SFI. Data from a 2016 Natural Marketing Institute survey of 80,000 U.S. consumers showed 36% recognize the SFI logo and what it stands for, more than any other certification standard.
The WPMA will also benefit from an expanding supply of hardwood forest products certified to SFI. "We're seeing more and more lands getting certified in major hardwood producing regions in Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri and Virginia," Metnick said.
Certification to SFI will also help position the WPMA to benefit from the rising use of wood products in buildings as an option for mitigating climate change. Wood products produce far less greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime than other building materials. Using wood products that store carbon instead of building materials with a bigger carbon footprint also helps slow climate change.
While these innovations in green building and the resulting environmental benefits are good news, many of wood's positive attributes depend on whether the forest it comes from is managed responsibly. Wood that is certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard offers a proof point that the forest has been managed according to multiple environmental, social and economic values — today and into the future.
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. SFI® is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting forest sustainability and supporting the links between sustainable forests and communities through grant programs, carefully targeted research, direct leadership of critical initiatives, and partnerships that effectively contribute to multiple conservation objectives. Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard cover more than 285 million acres/115 million hectares. Millions more acres benefit from the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. SFI's Forest Management, Fiber Sourcing and Chain of Custody Standards work to ensure the health and future of forests. Through application of these certification standards, SFI's on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by an independent three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.
About the Wood Products Manufacturers Association
The Wood Products Manufacturers Association's (WPMA) mission is to provide our members with the tools to help their business succeed. We provide our members with the finest information resources and services available. The Association acts as a clearing house for solving problems of mutual concern and assists members in controlling costs. We promote healthy, profitable business environments and educational opportunities that assist members in developing skills for more competitive business operations. The staff and board of the WPMA are constantly working on developing programs and services that help companies improve their bottom line and compete in a global economy.
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SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.