In September 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency issued “Recommendations of Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels” to guide federal procurement. For lumber and wood, FSC is now the only EPA recommended standard.

The Forest Stewardship Council US applauded this decision and sent a letter of thanks to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. The US Department of Energy’s pre-existing recommendation to use FSC products in procurement played an influential role in the EPA’s guidelines.

While the recommendation is making its way through the federal processes, it is effective immediately (starting FY 2016, which runs Oct 1, 2015 – Sept 30, 2016). Specifications to use FSC-certified products should begin appearing in RFPs for federal construction projects in the weeks and months ahead.

The EPA Greener Procurement program is designed to consider human and environmental health in its decision making.

On behalf of the entire FSC community, we thank the EPA and look forward to working with federal specifiers and contractors to make the new recommendation a success.

This article originally appeared in the FSC Newsletters on November 11th, 2015.