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Toronto — A coalition of six of Canadas largest environmental groups today congratulated the US Green Building Councils (USGBC) decision this week to continue to award credits under its popular Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program only to wood certified to the Forest Stewardship Councils (FSC) tough environmental and social standards. LEED is an audit and certification program for the design, construction and operation of high performance environmentally friendlier buildings.

"We're pleased that the USGBC has decided to maintain its high standards and continue to only support FSC certification system as part of LEED rather than consider weaker industry-sponsored certification options" said Richard Brooks, forest campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. "The USGBC decision to continue to only award credit to FSC certified products ensures that North Americas green building movement will continue to be a force for positive change on forest practices, labour issues and aboriginal rights in Canada and indeed across North America."

In the 10 years since the LEED program has recognized FSC, the amount of North American forests certified under the FSC standards for responsible forest management has grown in size from less than 4 million hectares (10 million acres) to more than 52 million hectares (130 million acres).

"FSC has reached critical mass in North America, and the LEED program has played a major role in making that happen," added Pierre Iachetti, Conservation director for ForestEthics. "More than ever, consumers want confidence in the environmental attributes of their purchases, and when they choose FSC wood, they know that they are supporting a better future for forests and communities."

For more than three years, the USGBC has been studying the option of awarding points or credits to other forest management certification schemes and has come under heavy lobbying by other systems. A number of submissions by scientists and environmental organizations refuted claims that other systems contributed to a substantial improvement in the responsible management of forests.

FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the worlds forests. The FSC in Canada is governed by a balanced board representing aboriginal, economic, social and environmental interests. For more information go to www.FSC.org or www.fsccanada.org

For more information, please contact:

Richard Brooks, Forest campaign coordinator, Greenpeace Canada Cell: 416-573-7209

Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director, Canopy. Cell: 778-987-9099

Daniel Hall, ForestEthics Office: 503-978-0511

ric Hbert-Daly, National Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Cell: 613-899-7226

Alan Young, Corporate Program Director, Canadian Boreal Initiative, Cell: 613-266-7429

Faisal Moola, David Suzuki Foundation, 647.993.5788

December 13, 2010

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