It’s no secret that the growth of big industry and globalization has wreaked havoc on the environment. In the last century alone, half of the world’s forests have been altered, degraded or destroyed. In this world of big business, it is up to us as responsible consumers to make purchasing decisions that support our beliefs and our social values. With every dollar we spend we are casting a vote for the world we want. This is true of our decisions about building materials and processes.
Environmentally sound construction practices are commonly known as “green building”, and this is a fast growing construction practice. In 2012 green building principles were represented in 25% of all commercial and institutional building starts, and 20% of all residential construction. This is up from 2% in 2005.
A major component of green building is using wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international nonprofit organization. Established in 1993 to promote more responsible management of the forests around the globe. The FSC organization aims to help affect a change in the construction industry by providing end consumers with a tool to possibly influence how forests are managed worldwide. They do this by providing standards and certification and labeling of forest products.
FSC certification is a voluntary certification system established for companies to submit to so that the end products can bear the label of being an FSC certified product, thus allowing discerning customers to choose to support their social and environmental views in their forest-sourced purchases.
FSC Certified wood is harvested from special forests which are managed with concern for sustainability and for the environment in general. These forests are governed with principles of long term demand in mind. To meet FSC standards there are 10 principles and 57 criteria that the forests must meet. These regard principles of environmental stewardship, social equity, and sustainability.
Some of the principles that forests managers must comply with for FSC certification are:
- To recognize and respect of the rights of indigenous populations.
- To Comply with International Labor Organizations to maintain or enhance the long term social and economic wellbeing of forest workers and local communities
- To reduce the environmental impact of logging activities and to maintain the ecological integrity of the forest
In order for FSC certification to be accurate and useful it is important the lumber that comes from an FSC certified forest must be kept separate from lumber that is from an uncertified forest. Therefore FSC certification also deals with the “chain of custody” of the lumber from the forest to the end user. Only companies that have their chain of custody certified by the Forest Stewardship Council can use the FSC trademarks and labels to promote their products.
So when you are considering some construction to be done or some building materials to purchase you should make sure you are buying FSC certified lumber. This is one important thing you can do to ensure that our forests will still be here for our children and our grandchildren. Every second we lose 1.5 acres of forest around the world. That is equal to the loss of 20 football fields of forest every minute. Estimates say that at the current rates of deforestation, all of the world’s forests will be gone in only 100 years. If we don’t take a stand as consumers, we will be supporting the pressure towards a world without trees. This is why FSC certified wood is so important. FSC certified forests are sustainable and profitable, and we hope that one day all forests are FSC certified.
We are proud to say that YardPods are made with FSC certified wood. Our prefabricated home offices and studios are leading the way in green building. These units are pre-built in our factory using a complete catalog of environmentally friendly materials. These are eco-friendly free standing rooms for your yard.
YardPods uphold the environmental concerns we have for a sustainable future. We hope that by providing you with a high quality and environmentally sound product for your backyard you won’t have to settle for cheap and unsustainable construction. We know we are a small company compared to big builders, but we are doing our part to ensure that there are forests around forever.