Sustainable Forest Management

CSA SFM User Group Newsletter 

July 2010


Where to Find Us

The CSA SFM User Group will be at these upcoming trade shows and conferences:

Greenbuild  Nov 16-18, 2010 - McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, Illinois

Print World - Nov 20-22, 2010 - Direct Energy Centre, Toronto, Ontario



Disappointment With Certified Wood Credit in LEED

The CSA User Group joins others in expressing disappointment over the U.S. Green Building Council's latest draft changes to the LEED certified wood credit. Link to CaGBC letter.



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Recognition of Forest Certification in the LEED Green Building Rating System

The CSA SFM User Group remains disappointed with the US Green Building Council’s latest (fourth) request for public comment on the draft benchmarks that are aimed at evaluating forest certification programs in their LEED building rating system. The disappointment stems from the USGBC’s narrow opportunity for review and comment – limiting comment to a handful of the 80 or so benchmark criteria. There are also still several areas where the benchmark language remains narrow in scope and misses the mark in ensuring forests are managed sustainably. And more generally, the overall LEED rating system disadvantages sustainably harvested wood products over other basic materials used in building construction.

Having said that, the User Group also supports many of the limited areas where change has occurred. For example, this draft of the benchmarks rightfully clarifies that the benchmarks can be met by the regulatory requirements of the jurisdiction in which they are applied. This is a key point for the CSA Z809 SFM standard, since there is already a solid foundation of laws governing the management of Canada’s public forests. Canada’s national standard sits on top of that foundation, and avoids repeating much of what is already required by law.

Click on the links for a copy of our online comments to USGBC or a letter sent to the Canadian Green Building Council.


Dr. Peter Duinker - Leadership in Forest Standards Award

CSA’s Award of Merit was presented to Dr. Peter Duinker, leader of the Technical Committee responsible for the CSA Sustainable Forest Management standards, in June. The award recognizes his exceptional leadership, commitment to consensus-based standards and extensive knowledge of sustainable forest management.

Dr. Duinker is a Professor and Director of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies and Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia. He is known and respected across Canada and internationally as a leader of environmental science.

The 2008 revision of the CSA Z809 forest certification standard and the development of a new standard (Z804) for woodlots were led by Dr. Duinker. He contributed knowledge accumulated during a full career of research to strengthen virtually all indicators of sustainability, improved the indicators for biodiversity and monitoring, and included the relatively recent issues of forest carbon and biomass utilization.

Other members of the committee are forest producers, scientists, academics, government representatives, Aboriginal people, labour unions, consumers and environmentalists. An inclusive, consensus-based process is used for making decisions, and draft standards go out for wide public consultation.

Revised CSA SFM Standard Approved as a National Standard of Canada

The revised CSA Sustainable Forest Management standard has now been approved by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as a National Standard of Canada. SCC approval maintains the status the standard held with the first two editions and is an indication that the standard will make a significant and timely contribution to the national interest.

The standard will be published as CAN/CSA-Z809-08 and will be available in early July 2010 free of charge in English and French on the CSA online store. Users of the standard will have three years from the date of publication to complete the transition from Z809-02 to Z809-08. Information on transition is available on the SCC website.


CSA SFM Out and About


The CSA SFM User Group recently participated in two National Conventions with exhibits at both the American Institute of Architects Design Exposition in Miami Beach and the Canadian Green Building conference in Vancouver.

Delegates that stopped by were provided with information about the revised CSA SFM Standard and opportunities to use certified wood. Many of the architects we spoke to were aware that wood certified to the CSA SFM Standard does not qualify for the certified wood credit under the US Green Building Council’s LEED building rating system. Those unaware were made aware of the CSA SFM certification exclusion. In all cases they expressed their disagreement with the USGBC position and encouraged us to continue to push for recognition by the LEED rating system.

RONA Procurement Policy and Wood Products Certified to CSA

An annual review of RONA’s wood procurement policy led to a meeting between RONA and members of the CSA SFM Technical Committee and User Group in March.

Rona meeting.jpg  Dr. Peter Duinker (Chair of the Technical Committee), Mr. Guy Tremblay and Ms. Diane Roddy met with Mr. Eric Paradis, RONA’s VP of Merchandising, Building Materials and Forest Products. They heard about actions taken under the company’s wood procurement policy for legal and sustainable wood sourcing and brought current information about the two CSA SFM standards (Z809 and Z804 for woodlots). RONAs policy supports an inclusive approach to forest certification and recognizes the CSA standard as one of four credible sustainable forest management standards.

The ensuing discussion included biological diversity, sites of special biological importance, Aboriginal rights and relationships, forest carbon and biomass, CSA’s adoption of the PEFC chain of custody, and the use of PEFC labels on products from CSA certified forests. One of RONA’s goals is to have 30% of all wood they buy ‘eco labelled’ by the end of 2010 to assure customers that the wood they are buying comes from responsible sources.

The door is open for continued dialogue and increased understanding as RONA reviews their wood procurement policy annually and establishes one for paper.

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