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Green Building Survey Comments

Supplemental to article appearing in Random Lengths, Friday, June 5, 2009


Discuss/list your reasons to pursue, not pursue, certification

Customer demand. Procurement system certification only.

Little Demand. Most business has been custom homes, we have been building "green" for quite some time.

Knowledge is bliss.

More business if you're certified.

It is largely a non-issue in this market. (central Arkansas)

Sales, relationship possibilities.

Customers are asking for certified wood.

My mills that I deal with are FSC certified. I saw a need with very few domestic panel mills that were FSC certified. The intent was to fill a supply void and make a greater margin on the FSC products.

Cost too much.

Some of our customers are requesting it. But are not sure if they are willing to pay more for certified wood to help offset the cost. We already harvest timber in a certified method and 85% of our loggers are certified. Not sure if we want to do all the extra paperwork that goes with being certified.

Cost of certification. Rules of certification seem unclear, still need to be clearly defined. Why can't the lumber industry agree on an inspection and stamp based system like we already use for lumber grades?

company principles

Home Center Business

I do not know how to go about getting certified.

we have had FSC "chain of custody" certification for many years. complete waste of money based on lack of sales/margin -vs- cost of certification.

We received a quote for over $12,000 to be FSC certified. We are not going to pursue it further. Too expensive for too little reward.

not important at this time to getting sales

FSC too difficult to source, handle, store, track

We are FSC certified. In our area the movement seems to be in its infancy. There are the two completely separate markets of residential and commercial, that seem to have little in common. There is residential interest but in the absence of a residential market, this will take a considerable amount of time to mature. We are seeing a growing level of support in the commercial market, particularly in fire retardant treated products.

Certified to ensure right to harvest on our lands. Certified to provide confidence about our forestry practices to all our stakeholders - customers, neighbors, regulators, shareholders etc.

Just trying to sort out which certification will lead the way, lots of options.

Hardly any points given for the use of our product. Not enough calling for the investment.

Keep customers happy. Right thing to do.

Because of the number of inquiries that we were receiving from customers looking for "green" products.

The chain of custody issue seems to apply to FSC members. The LEED project requirements that some customers have asked me to adhere to only recognize FSC rules. In the south there is only one mill certified through FSI and only one mill certified by FSC...At this point the cost of such a process has been too high for such a depressed market....Plus SYP wood and plywood is now exempt from CARB requirements.

Customer request.

We are both SFI and FSC Certified. We pursued the certification for many reasons but the main ones are for our customers' benefit and how we stand against our competition. We also have retail stores who were being pressured to offer certified products so that was another main reason. Also, since we are in a global marketplace we want people to know that we are doing things right so that our resource base will sustain our business and that they can rely on our products and certification long term.

Cost and inconvenience

The green building certification systems, as currently constituted, are nothing short of extortion. Third party "not for profit" organizations add no value. They add cost.

Will be pursuing certification this year, as customers are requesting

Not one customer has inquired or asked if we sell certified wood.

Too expensive in dollars and time.

Some customer inquiry. Ability to trade items as called for.

We had to pursue certification as the green movement will only gain momentum with time and an improved market.

To be able to supply green products for LEED jobs and for customers that specifically want them.

We are in the process of developing a lower income green house, so we are also aiming for our green certification.

We are in the process of being certified. There are more and more projects requiring that wood products are certified.

We have not had much demand from our customers. FSC certification is costly.

We haven't seen the need in being a "certified green dealer" or FSC certified in our area yet

Widening environmental awareness and demand for certified products.

It will be mandatory to keep market share in the future

We would be interested in some sort of certification. Not sure what is involved.

It's been talked about only

Economics.

Customer demand for FSC wood

1. Our major Customer is involved in implementing Green products. 2. Our competition.

The LEED program has had a dramatic effect on commercial (especially governmental) buildings ... LEED for Homes will also have an impact ... although we think they will eventually allow SFI certification in addition to FSC... Chain of Custody will still be required.... so it's best to be certified early...

Not yet sure where we fall into the scope of things.

We have not found a significant demand (or any, I should say) for "green" products. Of course, our business is primarily wood products--green by definition. In the Southeast the certified forests are principally owned by the major forest industry, and they own a relatively small amount of the softwood timberland. Small ownership patterns in the non-industrial landowner owned forest land does not lend itself to economical certification

We are an exporter and Northern Europe is now requiring certification for some markets.

No uniformity, or equivalence between certifications. (you'd pretty much have to sign up for all of them to satisfy every customer) -Cost of certification -The large number of different green certifications makes it feel like a "racket".

LEED requirements, company focus, marketing/PR value, premium price

We have not pursued certification because of several reasons. 1. FSC certification is expensive. 2. Supplies of certified materials are limited. 3. Certified materials are expensive. 4. Managing certified (again, FSC) materials is expensive. 5. While many customers ask for certified materials, most don't want to pay the premium. So, simply put, selling certified products just isn't worth the trouble and expense. It is a politically imposed concept that, at least in our market, has had little impact.

Cost

Not enough demand and not enough profit to offset all you go through to provide a product that in all respects is the same as the non-certified product. FSC is a scam, you go through all these hoops so you can provide a "certified" piece of wood so someone can feel good and think they didn't really cut a tree down.... and a tree is the greenest product they could ever buy in the first place.

We are reviewing to determine the best cost benefit option for our business.

To make everybody feel good - and to give up some of our hard-earned money. Customers are asking, but they are not willing to pay any more.

My smallish business is export to Mexico. About 25% is used lumber and plywood. Another 45% is "falldown" or lower grade lumber, plywood and OSB. About 30% is material which might be saleable at Home Depot.

I felt FSC certification would give us a leg up on our competition and provide us with bona fides in our green marketing.

1- to show that we are a responsible company and are committed to protecting the enviroment 2- a percentage of our customer base is requesting certification

Company is not certified. No requests from our customer base for green building or green products. Know green products and building is a hot topic in the news and demand for green probably will increase. Company will not seek certification until demand for green increases signiificantly.

I would like to try to pursue to get ahead of the curve and get into a new market. Like it or not, everybody in every industry will be there one day and it could help by being at the front of the line.

Personally I feel that if the SFI Certification was accepted for all green applications there would be a lot more participation in the green movement...FSC is very hard to find in distribution and makes it very hard to do fill in materials when the contractor takeoff is off by pieces after the original shipment has been completed. SFI is readily available from many manufacturers and much easier to work with. FSC is a money machine for FSC .......

FSC necesary to sell product into LEED projects. Made sense to do the others at the same time.

Greed, more money.

More and more of my customers are requesting green products

Needed it to supply specific projects that wanted LEED certification

Have pursued the FSC cert. At this time we see no reason to pursue any further. We can not see where we can cover our additional costs in logs and lumber production from the increased sales volumes.

I believe that the current green movement is a money making gimmick for the certification companies. Cost is too high, initial cost as well as yearly. I also feel that the green movement to some degree is the current fad.We all need to use common sense on all products, but to charge this kind of money is not in our best interest with the current economy. I do not believe that the current way green is being used has sustaining power. We already sell engineered product, most producers are producing from 2nd growth or tree farms already. This is evident by the logs that are being harvested. We have, for several years, seen the deterioration of the appearance and grading of wood coming from the mills.

We are considering SFI certification. However, there are so many independent forest licence holders in our region that supply logs to our mill that reaching a consensus on reasons for all to certify and actual certifying body to use will be very difficult.

We are in the process of making the determination of becoming a certified wood truss manufacturer. At this time there is not a significant demand to becoming certified, but we feel it will become more necessary in the future. Our concern is that the cost to becoming certified is high and can it be justified at this time with the economy and demand for such in our market area.

Reasons to pursue: Marketing to the public...give'm what they want to hear. Reasons not to pursue: There is no govt regulations on the use of "green" terms when it comes to building products...its all marketing, and lobbying for different agencies with their own agendas...ie kickbacks to builders, specifiers, etc for using certain products regardless of how truely "green" they may or may not be... For example: 1) Built Green Alberta program where the builder builds the exact same house but markets it a four different price points (regular, bronze, silver, gold) cashing in on the buyers sensibilities when it comes to their views of the environment...the builder has added no value whatsoever to the higher priced versions... 2) FSC certificaton....has proven to be one of the more agressively lobbyed programs with specifiers and architects...but who has graded/qualified their program? This agency basically makes up their own rules (based on whatever they want, and the manufacturers they've brought.)

Opens up new areas.

Price of certification and demand.....

Customers were asking for green cert products.

We specialize in industrial species and grades. Demand emphasis for FSC and similar categories of lumber classification don't seem to have impacted our customer base...yet. We would pursue certification only as result of significant level of customer requests.

It is a top of mind wave that is growing

currently we do not see a need to pursue certification

We think it will be a necessary cost of doing business. We are also going to get certified for SFI.

Changing rules - waiting til things are more established.

1) Become more educated 2) Increase sales potential 3) Get more people involved by example

We distribute lumber and panels and the demand for "certified" material does not justify the cost.

We work in tropical forests and no one wants slash and burn rainforest timber.

Cost - it is of interest but cost is a concern in this economy.

As a manufacturer of engineered wood products, we, as a corporation made the decision to go with SFI certification because they're objective, independent, and recognized with credibility. Specifically they have rigiorous standards certification procedures. "Green" is becoming increasingly important to our end users (the builders) specifically because homeowners are becoming more aware and asking about green.

cost & time

The trend toward more government/public commercial projects with LEED certification requirements.

We supply veneer to the LVL industry & our customers strongly urged us to become certified.

pursue: - knowing that the products we sell aren´t poached - knowing that there will be enough trees in the future - customers like to think and buy "green"

Currently working on LEED Certification.

I can't see that it adds value to our products, i.e no one appears to be willing to pay more for it.

I believe at some time it will be necessary for our company to have a certification. I am hoping I will be dead and gone till that time. This is just another regulatory scam that had no thought put into it. I have been to numerous meetings and talked to people who are to be leaders in this effort. You can ask too many questions that they have no answers for. You can read so many holes in this scam that it's like a lot of other good ideas, looks good and sounds good but impossible to monitor. My company has been in the lumber business for 100 years and we have always been regulated how, when and where we may timber. I think someone's son or daughter needed another position (not a real job) and we thought this up to try to kill another industry in USA.

Lack of demand for products in our markets served.

Present a sense of community, and good public image.

We have not been willing to pay an outside firm to certify our operation as "green"

Too costly and I think it is a form of extortion to require certification, especially when existing requirements from Oregon Dept of Forestry and federal agency rules basically already guarantee sound forest management. Chain of custody is ridiculous in that the wood is certified at the mill level and will be certified at the usage level and how it is brokered is immaterial. Will probably have to in the future but not very willing at this point.

It is becoming more popular by more builders.

To support and promote a green movement.

Good marketing tool and more demand for this kind of product, although not all that widespread.

Customer demand. Procurement system certification only

The expense to become certified has been our reason to this point.

I'm not a manufacturer.

In the process of getting COC certification with both FSC and SFI.

Customers have an interest in it. You can't sell what you don't have.

Green certification serves no purpose. Forestry is the original green industry. The land owners are some of the best stewards of the land. These agencies only add expense to the finish products.

In the future this will be a must have in the North American market much like it is in Europe. Today there is limited "added value" but our hope is that this will make the difference between buy and not buy!

We are not pursuing green certification.

do not feel it is necessary

Most of our products do not carry "green certification" and at this time there is not enough call for FSC lumber to justify the cost. We also believe that most of the green movement is based on who can make more money off the concept than someone else while convincing the consumer that it's the "right" thing to do.

Our customers are asking questions like "How many points do I get if I use........."

Since the ideological underpinning of the enviros maintains that most lumber from North America is not "green", I refuse to become an enabler of this bogus environmental correctness. If I ever become a party to this hoax please shoot me.

We haven't seen much business one way or the other so probably won't pursue certification at this time.

We became certified to be able to get LEED projects which are typically government funded projects.

FSC's very high standards for forest management matched our company's commitment to the environment, communities, and Aboriginal people that our operations affect. By establishing ourselves as a world leader in responsible forest management, we have set ourselves apart from much of our competition in the eyes of the biggest building materials retailers as well as key players in the pulp and paper segment for whom environmental responsibility is a major issue.

The actual process is too difficult, too expensive. The "chain of custody requirements" are too difficult and should be replaced with something simular to a grade stamp which would eliminate the need for dedicated warehouse space and costly compliance inspections.

We are certified because we feel that is important to responsible with the enviroment. We are certified, because we are proud of producing eviroment sustainable products. We are certified beacuse we would like to give our customer a way of showing their customers that they are getting sustainable products.

My customers have not gotten into the green movement yet.

Although there is a great deal of interest from customers they are not willing to pay additional costs for FSC certified lumber.

There has not been enough demand yet and we have suppliers that are certified and can work with them to provide customers needs.

We felt the need to be there when the bell rings and to be able to supply our customers with certified products. We also felt then when the economy comes back green building will not just be a trend it will be a lifestyle.

We are using FSC, as our customers are inquiring for it, although not a lot of new business is expected from it.

Too costly and not enough demand by customers to do this (yet).

Seems to be almost a "fad" amoung upper end sales these days - and may become a necessary "tag" or label on the wood in order to transact with high end customers. Is the cost v. benefit worth it?

We are in the process of pursuing FSC certification

None of our contractor customers has shown an interest.

Certification in Nova Scotia is work in process. The high percentage of small private woodlots make the process more difficult for manufacturers as they purchase raw material from many private woodlots at any one time

So far we have had only a few requests for certified wood.

We do not sell directly to consumers B to B.

The vast majority of the work we do does not require or ask for either FSC or SFI certification. A very small minority of projects, usually for government funded work, will require some certification. Usually, these projects call for a small amount of treated lumber, usually piece pull, rarely full units.

Not enough demand (yet)

Costs, low demand for "green" trusses.

We would like to pursue certification in our crate shop to expand our service offerings to our customers. Our business and environment would also benefit from the reduction of wood waste in the area landfills.

We are choosing to NOT pursue certification due to: - added cost of business, we are trying to help our customers drive costs out. - lack of supply, there are few FSC certified mills. Without the acceptance of SFI, CSA, PEFC, etc., there is little reason to push it. - We disagree with the whole process. It adds too much cost and by nature, our business is mainly green. Wood products are the one renewable resource in the house, mills have had to change their environmental practices over the years and are essentially green in North America. Around the world it may be necessary, not here. - Surveys show home owners want energy efficiency and improved air quality, lumber is insignificant. - In all certification programs, wood products offer so few points and with the added cost, builders are choosing to make up the points else where. We rely heavily on local sourcing. - We fully believe in a universal stamp on wood products that are "green". Go away from COC requirements.

We won't be pursuing certification until such time that customers request it. We have 3-locations have been in business for 50-years and have yet to have a request for certified lumber. The current certification process is only about putting money in someone elses pocket, it has little to do with being green.

Waiting for initiative to come from our customers.

We have not seen enough demand for certified lumber.

Have at one yard for ability to supply a green order.

Was legislated via provincial government to become certified.

I am all for efficiency and common sense, but the "green" movement is largely a political movement.

Pursue: We are getting a prime on residue (Chips to paper mills) We are getting a prime on FSC Certified Lumber- Not Pursue: Not a lot of demand for FSC Certified Lumber

We had the FSC certification to be able to supply "Green" Jobs.

I would like to, but just can't justify the $2000 to $4000 plus the paper chase. It needs to be certified at the manufacturer and stamped and that is it, instead of hold everybody along the trail hostage. Before the materical is at the end product it will pass through at least four hands, that's $8000 of payoffs.

We are FSC certified but my personal opinion is the whole concept was dreamed up by accountants to make a lot of money for themselves.

Not sufficient customer request or inquiry.

Many customers (mills) require SFI certified furnish for chain of custody. Among other reasons, it is an accepted certification for our operations and ensures the sustainability of our practices.

Not interested at this time.

The bulk of my raw material coming in the mill is SFI certified. A small percentage is FSC certified. SFI is not accepted well enough in the retail marketplace to merit spending money to certify our mill right now. Certifying a small portion of the production via a Chain of Custody method with FSC is possible, but I would rather certify the bulk of my production. I am waiting to see if the process changes and there is one overall certification. Why make VHS when the country might decide Beta is better?

To better support our membership we felt it be important that they had someone to turn to on Green Issues

Public opinion, govt. regulations.

Pursuing certification because of marketplace requests.

We have several locations throughout our chain that are certified to meet needs of those builders or contractors that are requiring FSC certification.

Wholesaler only.

My Mexican customers could care less about 'green' lumber...they want good quality and low prices.

All of my product I buy is from a FSC certified company. I reman into higher value added products which in turn makes my products FSC certfied. We are small but active in an area where high value homes are purchasing our product. Only been asked once if we are using fsc products, it was not a consideration by the customer when he bought my products, it was only a question.

We are an approved contractor for a midwest retailer who is FSC certified. We are philosophically opposed to the FSC program, seeing it as a marketing scam that isn't really green. However, if we had to join to stay in business, we probably would but there is virtually no business and the cost of certification is very high. At this time, only one southern pine lumber manufacturer, Potlatch, is certified under FSC. As a result there is very limited business to be had treating FSC material. If SFI were accepted under the LEED program, we would prefer that program.

We had no choice. Our main markets in Europe are demanding certified products, and nearly all our suppliers have chain of custody.

Response to demand.

As far as the lumber certification, we have not had any demand at all to provide any products with FSC or SFI certifications. Our chemical from Osmose has our chemical with the "SCS Environmentally Preferred Product" certifiction. It is based on Life Cycle

You should pursue certification if you have an existing client base that regularly purchases certified wood or is involved with LEED projects. You may also pursue certification if you have a demographic in your region that has a concience for certified wood products

Certain markets were asking for it. Primarily the Bay Area of California.

We had FSC certification for one year, ending in November 2008. We hoped it would provide opportunities to sell to additional markets and obtain a small price premium. During this time, we found that there was very little FSC timber in our area and what was there, was controlled by single group, whom we were unable purchase from. We let the certification lapse after one year.

Open up markets for our products.

We chose to become the early entrant in a field that at best represents a growth opportunity, or at worst, represents an opportunity for us to become the expert who can help guide our customers through a complex and difficult subject.

Green building is the future of building, so it just makes sense.

At this time there is no clear cut certifier for green. Until then we will sit on our hands and wait.

LEED program points are required for many commercial and government jobs.

Green certifications = add costs.

To get more sales of lumber and other building products.

To make our products more appealing to green building customers.

We have pursued our Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Certification because we were getting calls frequently asking for the product. What we have discovered as of late is that the products although green are not really affordable. The number of LEED credit points available are so minute that many architects, builders and consumers are looking for other more realistic ways to gain those points lumber and panels could provide. We have seen one piece of literature that shows a bike rack out in front of a building and indicates that the rack gained as many points as building full of FSC CoCC lumber. Now that's an eye opener

We just are getting started and are on final stage

Our industry is already working with renewable resources forestry and stewardship standards and is self regulated to the end process by ALS implemented rules through independent grading agencies. We supply the basic need for shelter. All harvesting, manufacturing, transporting must comply to a governmental permit and regulatory processes meeting all current ecological laws and govermental policies. Adding a new legal definition to the word "green" and and additional control process is only costly. However looking from the consumer side back, We as an industry have failed in the educating them. Eventually I will have to pursue the permit process.

Increasing demand for LEED compliant products from my customers has been the primary motivating factor.

Desire of shareholders, feeling we are doing business the right way, hope for a premium someday, good PR

80% off non certified private timber, 20% off forest service land

Very limited log supply and lumber markets do not generate much premium.

No one in AZ will pay for it.

#1 Cost #2 Does not seem to be a "single" correct certification (one organization fits all) #3 Evolving organizations.

We are looking into being certified - most likely FSC.

It is a competitive advantage servicing a growing segment of the market.

It adds 20-25% to the cost of materials and doesn't make the world a greener place. (LEED) just puts green into their pockets. A common sense approach is more "green".

We want to facilitate responsible forest management.

We think it is too expensive and time consuming. We are hoping that there will soon be a grade stamp that signifizes certified lumber thus eliminating all the required paperwork for chain of custody.

Way too expensive at this time to bid only a few jobs in our area

Not necessary for industrial customer base. It's all green anyway.

Not to pursue currently. The request for FSC lumber only comes sporadically and customers don't want to pay any upcharge for certification

The certifications are baloney. The people who certify are only looking to pad their wallets. We had one of the agencies certify our cedar program with a big box retailer. They came by and looked around. That was it, oh and a $5000 check. We were certified.

The "Green" build is here and will grow substantially every year for the forseeable future in both new residential construction, commercial and remodel segments. We need to stay on the leading edge of this wave

The cost of certification is more than the return value we would receive because of competitors pricing

We mfg SYP and export a lot of it. Our export customers persuaded us to obtain certification.

We work with green WRC, and are considered "green" already.

Certification is a system that can provide "cover" for the producer/manufacturers within our already green, renewable industry.

One of our significant industrial accounts needed certified wood and so we pursued it for them. The decision was driven by our timber department - and they can buy SFI logs more readily than FSC so availability of raw material was a huge consideration. They also like the "best practices" approach of SFI to timber management as opposed to a very strict system that FSC developed in Europe. We did not look at certification from the aspect of marketing our finished goods.

We haven't spent a dime yet. We're 100% Western Red Cedar....all the producers are harvesting in responsible ways already. The main ingredient in LEED/green FSC is chain of custody...which is nearly impossible for cedar producers to adhere to in a market where logs exchange hands several times on occasion. The "feel good" of chain of custody gets broken....several times along the way already. Technically, everyone from the logger, trucker, railroad, distributor & retail dealer...AND the builder..would need to be certified, in order to maintain true COC. Ridiculous..

Because some consumers don't understand that wood harvested in North America already has laws making it substainable and 'green'

We are not certified, however the mills we buy from are.

Additional sales opportunities exist with LEED and other green building projects.

Too much money to spend for something that has not hurt our sales in any way.

Customer demand. Procurement system certification only

Very sellable service.

We have not had any call for the certifcation at this point.

In process, but has not been completed.

Will not pursue because: lack of profitability in relations to risk and investment, unclear rules/changing rules, FSC administration not wood friendly, 95% of our customer base doesn't care.

We are currently pursuing an FSC cert.

We got the FSC certification because of an increase in inquiries for green concrete form. However even though the product is consumed in the construction of the project, because the forms do not remain a permanent part of the building demand is virtually non-existent.

Meet our customer needs.

It's a world recognized "stamp of approval" that we are good stewards of the timberlands we source our logs from and we can sell the product for a premium.

Just going with the flow--find it rather amazing the private land owner, who is certified, can't get an extra dime for his timber. This is just one more example how this whole process is flawed. What is the incentive if the guy growing the trees can't be included in the compensation for doing things the "green" way. Guess the attorneys and the big boxes failed to think that part through.

Customers demand it.......producers are pushing it.

We must be ready and not just react to the consumer's demands for more enviromentally compatible products. Certification allows us to compete in this market now in its infancy and be ready to adjust to the increases we will see in coming years.

Right thing to do.

We have a beautiful forest that meets all FSC standards. It was a market niche with a premium to help keep our mill open. Everything we make qualifies to be sold as FSC, it just took lots of work to get customers to appreciate the movement. Our shop, low grade, lam stock, everything besides just 2&Btr dimension qualified so marketing all grades was a challenge. WE are now making mostly export which has not requested the certified stamps thus far but we are keeping the FSC certification for the positive overtone that it gives us. And for the pride it gives us.

More business.

No way to avoid the ground swell of the green movement

To allow us to sell more items to customers and jobs.

Plain and simple it is because of LEED that we got FSC certified. Now we can quote all the govt, state, city jobs.

Jurisdictions are too fractured. Architects are starting to specify "green" wood, but the mill supply base is not equipped to offer it. (e.g., FSC versus Canadian specs)

We were SFI certifiied last year, but the cost of certification outweighed the number of successful opportunities to make sales...We will go for certification when the market allows us to...in the mean time we are waiting for a job large enough to pay for the certificate....

 

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