The decision by the Green Building Council of Australia to revise its timber credit to allow equal consideration of the Australian Forestry Standard and Forest Stewardship Council schemes ‘levels the playing field and gives Australian and New Zealand members hard-won access to the green rated commercial market,” the general manager of the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Simon Dorries said.
“This is excellent news for the industry. The GBCA is to be congratulated on its rationality in accepting all internationally recognised certification schemes,” Dorries said.
“This interim arrangement gives AFS and FSC and equal opportunity going forward to review their schemes to maximise the credit points they can achieve.”
The shift by the GBCA means both schemes will now be accepted as part of its green star rating system for new buildings when assessing potential environmental impacts.
Dorries said equal recognition between the two schemes would mean more than 90% of the Australian wood products industry, which are under AFS, would now have access to green building projects and qualify for green star points.
Only 2.5% of sawn timber products in Australia have FSC certification.
The GBCA’s FSC-only proviso in its green building rating system had come under enormous pressure in recent months, intensified by a meeting of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council last month that advocated the GBCA “re-examine a green building rating system that discriminates against the Australian forestry certification scheme”.