LEED and FSC: Too Close for Comfort

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LEED is currently the best known acronym in the green building industry. As a branding success, its meteoric rise is nothing if not phenomenal. What does it stand for? Unless you’re a LEED accredited professional (LEED AP), you probably can’t remember (and don’t care) if it stands for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design or if it’s the other way around, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (it’s the latter). The important thing is that it’s the major certification needed for a green building project.

LEED is the property of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and is licensed out to the many affiliated Green Building Councils worldwide, including the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) where I discovered what I thought was a rather imperialistic posture by the organization. Frankly, it ticked me off enough to write this post (and the next one).

I heartily support the concept of making the built environment, well, green. So does my employer, BuildDirect, a member of both the USGBC and the CaGBC. Among BuildDirect’s green building materials (which follow the LEED system) is one that is made from wood that comes from a forest certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC certified products are identified as candidates for LEED certified projects. But the LEED masters (green building councils) seem to think they are one and the same organization as the FSC.

See my next post to learn more.

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Colin Laughlan