Verified Wood Products Are More Than Green: They’re Legal

By staying in line with LEED principles, businesses can improve their carbon footprint while making the best choices for themselves as companies. This means that choosing environmental office solutions can also mean making a good decision that complies with the law. In an article for the United States Green Building Council's blog, Taryn Holowka recently examined that organization's role in promoting the use of legally harvested wood in office products.

In her piece, Holowka discussed how the ethics of using properly sourced wood meshes with the USGBC's greater goals. In addition to environmental concerns, the group also promotes social responsibility, so it makes sense that it is taking a stand against the use of illegal timber. Companies that want to stay in line with USGBC principles may boost their own social responsibility by following suit.

Earlier this April, the USGBC announced a special pilot compliance path credit to promote better practices for using wood. Council Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi said that the standard is intended to help stop illegal logging in an April 5 statement.

"[…]As we have begun looking at approaches to incentivize responsible sourcing of all materials that go into our buildings – such as concrete, steel, copper and other materials – we recognize the need to address both the top – rewarding the best – as well as the bottom by eliminating unacceptable practices," Fedrizzi said. He also called healthy forests "an essential piece of life as we know it" and said that the pilot would expand LEED's current boundaries.

With the USGBC making this commitment, it sends a good message for businesses to adopt similar principles. Working with Northern California used office furniture providers will help businesses obtain better, high quality pieces. This can contribute to higher levels of LEED credits while also giving the option of customized furniture that best suits the office itself.