There are two green certifications known as FSC and SFI that as a buyer you must know.
Wood which is stamped as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo, then it indicates that it has been sustainably harvested.
In case sustainability is very important for you while remodeling your kitchen/bathroom etc. then look for FSC certification. Mostly in the U.S., the FSC lumber is used for making your countertops, cabinets, deck and much more.
The other one is Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification is also helpful, though it is less rigorous. You can choose this if you cannot find FSC product.
Both certifications indicate whether the wood product has come from forest that is managed in responsible manner.
Responsible forest management
Responsible forest management will include the following:
- Protecting fragile ecosystems
- Respect native economies and cultures
- Preventing illegal logging
- Restriction of clear-cutting and also use of pesticide
- Ensuring that your wood really came from those forests that has certification.
Where you can find certified wood?
You may either ask your cabinet maker or retailer about their option for certified woods and whether they are ready made.
Whether certified wood will cost more?
Maybe yes, however depends on efficiencies of the supply chain. Also, it maybe no, if FSC-certified suppliers, are competing with those woods which is harvested irresponsibly.
FSC is generally considered as the best program for forestry certification though industry groups may consider it very strict while environmentalists consider it too lax.
However, both agree that FSC is a better certification than SFI, though it is debatable to what extent as both may have few downsides.
FSC has few very specific criteria to consider as responsible forest management, which puts big emphasis on the environmental health.
The FSC certification can be tougher than SFI under several factors including how much you can allow clear cutting and how much pesticides are used.
Downside of FSC:
Since it is difficult to achieve, so its availability in the store is much less. However, it will be worth taking extra effort to locate them.
SFI is less rigorous
As it may take money directly from industry it polices, its certification process is not as transparent like FSC’s, there is always a doubt.
SFI has now toughened the standards that includes prohibiting logging of any old-growth forests and also limiting chemical pesticides.
Forestry certifications are not the final word about the wood. You need to consider whether your whole package that everything makes up your cabinets is 100% green.