Forest Advocates Float Greenwashing Claims

At the DC Energy Expo last weekend, it was rather disappointing to talk to a dealer of energy-efficient windows who had no idea where the wood that frames his windows comes from.

All he knows is that the manufacturers promise it is certified “environmentally friendly.”

“Green building” has become a big business.  By 2013, one in every five new homes will be an energy-efficient, eco-friendly abode, according to one estimate.

But what does “green” mean? There’s a huge battle underway over that question.  One of the bitterest fronts is being fought over sustainable forestry.

Last week, the environmentalists at ForestEthics engaged in a new skirmish against the country’s largest forest certification program, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or SFI, a nonprofit that has grown rapidly in recent years. But, for many environmentalists, SFI is a front organization for Big Timber that threatens to hijack the burgeoning market for sustainable lumber.

ForestEthics did its best to publicize those concerns at the country’s leading green building convention in Phoenix last week; It floated a helium-filled banner over the SFI booth inside the convention center that read: “SFI=Greenwash.”

picked up on the controversy today. SFI has also responded. For more details on greenwashing and green building, here’s a story I wrote for ArchitectureWeek.


About greendistrict

I'm Christine MacDonald, a journalist and the author of the book: "Green, Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone B

Posted on November 16, 2009, in Green Building, greenwash and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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