Between 2005 and 2015, U.S. forests grew by the equivalent of 2,740 NFL football fields each day. That’s a total of almost 1.3 million acres a year! In the U.S., we grow many more trees than we harvest. In fact, there are 20% more trees today than there were on the first Earth Day Celebration in 1970. Yet, our nation consumes more paper products than many parts of the world. How can this be? It turns out that consumption of paper and other wood products, along with sustainable forest management, is essential to maintaining this growth. Click read more below for additional detail.
In September 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency issued “Recommendations of Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels” to guide federal procurement. For lumber and wood, FSC is now the only EPA recommended standard.
The Forest Stewardship Council US applauded this decision and sent a letter of thanks to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. The US Department of Energy’s pre-existing recommendation to use FSC products in procurement played an influential role in the EPA’s guidelines.
While the recommendation is making its way through the federal processes, it is effective immediately (starting FY 2016, which runs Oct 1, 2015 – Sept 30, 2016). Specifications to use FSC-certified products should begin appearing in RFPs for federal construction projects in the weeks and months ahead.
The EPA Greener Procurement program is designed to consider human and environmental health in its decision making.