THE GREEN Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has released its new Assessment Framework for Forest Management Certification Schemes, as part of its ongoing review of the Green Star environmental rating tools for buildings.
According to the GBCA’s Green Star executive Director Robin Mellon, the new assessment framework will create a level playing field for certification schemes, simplify compliance requirements in the Green Star ‘Timber’ credit and encourage the use of Australian timber over illegal imported timber.
“When we started the review of the Green Star Mat-8 ‘Timber’ credit in 2007, the aims were to recognise the value of certified timber products and to promote the important role that the Australian timber industry plays in the green building supply chain,” Mellon said.
He said the new framework had been developed in consultation with an independent timber expert reference panel and addressed stakeholder concerns over the exclusive recognition of only one timber certification scheme.
“These revisions to Green Star will encourage the specification of reused and post-consumer recycled timber, as well as virgin timber certified by forest management certification schemes that meet the requirements of the new Framework,” he said.
Forest certification schemes seeking recognition in the Green Star Timber credit will be assessed according to how many of the framework’s 15 best practice criteria it partially or fully meets.
An independent third party will assess documentation and make recommendations to the GBCA, in the same way that the GBCA employs independent assessors to review Green Star projects. A full report will be provided to each applicant scheme and made public on the GBCA website.
“The framework has been released following an extensive period of stakeholder consultation, and the GBCA now welcomes ongoing feedback to ensure the framework continues to evolve and reflect best practice in forest certification,” Mellon said.
More information on the assessment framework for forest management certification schemes can be found at www.gbca.org.au