MEADVILLE, Pa., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- At a news conference today,
researchers from Allegheny College released a new directory to help link
supply and demand for "green" forest products in Pennsylvania.
Ten years ago, Pennsylvania became a national leader in third-party
certification of forest management. In 1997-98, Pennsylvania became the first
state to certify more than two million acres of state forests under the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) system. With more than 40 wood processing facilities
certified to handle wood produced under the FSC principles and criteria,
Pennsylvania's entire forest industry has made a significant commitment to
Despite the potential for certification to contribute to conservation-
oriented economic development, links between certified forest product supply
and demand remain weak. The strongest demand for certified wood products comes
from builders adhering to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
principles promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council.
In the first year of a three-year joint project of Allegheny College's
Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED), the Rainforest
Alliance, and The Wilderness Society, efforts are being made to both
understand the causes of the problem and to develop practical solutions.
Research conducted this summer shows considerable "leakage" throughout the
certified supply chain as wood moves from the forest to sawmills and secondary
"While groups such as the Green Building Alliance, the Green Building
Association of Central Pennsylvania, and the Delaware Valley Green Building
Council have helped to make Pennsylvania a national leader in LEED-certified
building construction, the Commonwealth lags behind other states with respect
to scoring points in LEED's rating system for using FSC-certified wood
products," says Allegheny College Environmental Science Professor Terrence
Bensel, Co-Director of the Northwest Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry
"The directory released today will provide critical information that will
connect environmentally conscious buyers and sellers and reduce or eliminate
one of the most significant hurdles: finding sources for certified wood
products," says Bensel.
There are other problems, of course, for Pennsylvania's "green building"
movement, which the 3-year project will endeavor to address. During the
remaining 30 months of the collaboration, the group will continue activities
such as conducting market research, providing group certification training,
and distributing fact sheets for sourcing FSC-certified wood.
The following Web sites provide additional information about sustainable
forestry and related topics:
- Certified Forest Products Council: http://www.certifiedwood.org
- Forest Stewardship Council: http://www.fscus.org
- Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program: http://www.smartwood.org
- Scientific Certification Systems: http://www.scs1.com
- Center for Economic and Environmental
Allegheny College, where 2,000 students with unusual combinations of
interests, skills and talents excel.
Discover Allegheny at http://www.allegheny.edu .
SOURCE Allegheny College