Green Building

Wood products

The forests of the United States provide wood products that play substantial environmental and economic roles in the U.S. green building movement.

The materials used in building construction have a significant effect on a building's environmental footprint. Sustainable or “green” architecture can help to substantially reduce the negative impacts on the environment and improve quality of life. There is a well-established scientific understanding that wood products use less energy and provide greater environmental benefits than alternative building materials.

Over 90 percent of American-grown timber comes from private forests. The use of sustainably-produced, domestically-grown wood products also helps maintain the manufacturing base in many local economies, which in turns helps keep our private forests as forests and from being converted to other non-forest uses.

The existence of multiple green building standards promotes competition between and improvement of existing standards, allows for the creation of new standards, and enables public and private institutions, and private individuals, to choose the most environmentally beneficial standard or rating system for their circumstances and projects.

In 2008 and again in 2013, NASF passed a green building resolution, pointing to the importance of giving wood products, especially from the United States, a substantial role in the U.S. green building movement. The resolution urges organizations that maintain green building standards to recognize the value of U.S. wood that is certified to a credible forestland certification standard.

Forest certification standards that are accepted by a significant segment of the U.S. wood market as providing credible evidence that wood certified through the program comes from responsibly managed forests include:

  • American Tree Farm System (ATFS);
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); and
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

NASF members also approved a forest certification policy statement in 2008 and again in 2013 setting out the fundamental elements of forest certification:

  • independent governance;
  • multi-stakeholder standard;
  • independent certification;
  • complaints/appeals process;
  • open participation; and
  • transparency.

For more information, contact the NASF Forest Markets Committee.