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Certifiably Green

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Certifiably Green

EW: What does it mean to be “SFI-certified”?

RW: Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification delivers assurances of good forest management at every link of the supply chain from forest to retailer to user. By helping promote responsible forestry practices, SFI certification ultimately benefits forests and their many environmental, social and economic values.  SFI certification requires third-party audits to maintain an internationally recognized and trusted standard of practice. The company must have processes in place to track the source of its raw materials, such as inventory control, employee training, reporting and invoicing.

EW: How does using an SFI-certified product help me earn points towards green building?

RW: Green building practices have become mainstream, as they minimize construction impacts on environment and health. Designers and builders alike strive to integrate sustainable construction practices throughout the project. The goal is for buildings that are more durable and energy efficient, conserve water and minimize waste, are healthier for their occupants, and make responsible choices with regards to material use. Wood from well–managed forests certified to the SFI standard is an excellent environmental choice for any new construction or renovation project.

There are a growing number of green building standards and rating systems currently in existence across North America. Although they differ in detail, they are similar in their objective, which is to improve the way we construct buildings and the way buildings operate. The project earns points in a variety of categories such as site selection, energy efficiency, water conservation, etc. The more points a project accumulates, the higher its certification level. Wood products are part of a rating program’s resource efficiency category, and most offer points or credits for the use of third-party certified wood products, as an assurance against illegally obtained or improperly managed forest products.

EW: How can residential builders get involved?

RW: Learn all you can about the growing trend toward green building. Get a copy of the National Green Building Standard and become familiar with it. Become a green professional in your community through continuing education. Stay in touch with local architectural and design professionals. Be familiar with and take part in your local green building program.

The SFI program is a comprehensive and rigorous sustainable forestry certification standard that encompasses more than 160 million certified acres in the U.S. and Canada and includes over 200 program participants. For more information on SFI, visit

For more information on green building, becoming a green professional, and finding a local green building program, or to purchase a copy of the National Green Building Standard, visit

Rob Worthington is the Director of Green Building for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI Inc.) With more than 30 years experience in the industry, Worthington works to raise awareness of the benefits, and driving market recognition & acceptance, of certified wood in sustainable construction among industry segments across the country. He can be reached at

This information and the websites identified above are provided solely as a convenience to the reader. They are not intended to state or imply that the editors of Engineered Wood or LP Building Products sponsor, recommend, endorse or are affiliated or associated with the companies or products listed.