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FSC & Urban Wood
Urban Wood Motion
Why Vote
How to Vote
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Supporters of the Motion


FSC & Urban Wood

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is one of the most visible and respected certification programs for wood products and is the only standard currently recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. It does not currently certify urban wood. FSC recognition of urban wood as reclaimed material would be an important step toward increasing the use of urban forest products. UFPA is advocating that salvaged urban wood be recognized as post-consumer reclaimed wood.

Trees are planted and maintained in urban communities to provide beauty, social benefits, and measurable ecosystem services, including improved air and water quality, public health, carbon storage, energy savings, and property values. Urban trees clearly have their highest value when living. Responsible care (including maintenance and replacement activities) for the trees and shrubs from community landscapes results in large volumes of debris, which is viewed as low-value, post-consumer waste. These felled urban trees and trimmings, known as “urban wood,” could instead provide value-added products, but are rarely reclaimed for uses beyond compost and mulch. Wasting this resource is wasting an opportunity: Like other post-consumer materials, urban wood can be salvaged and diverted from landfills. FSC recognition can provide incentives to assure the reclamation of this resource.

To read more about salvaging urban wood and the benefits, Click Here.

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Urban Wood Motion

At the FSC General Assembly in Malaysia in June 2011, FSC members will have the opportunity to vote on a motion, Recognizing Salvaged Urban Wood as Reclaimed, that recognizes wood salvaged from urban tree trimmings and removals as post-consumer reclaimed material:

FSC to establish a policy recognizing salvaged urban trees and materials as reclaimed material, including a process to review and amend Annex 1 of FSC-STD-40-007 V1-0Sourcing Reclaimed Material for Use in FSC Product Groups or FSC-Certified Projects to clarify recognition of the recovery of urban trees and parts of urban trees as post-consumer wood sources for reclaimed wood material. The policy shall continue to include all relevant aspects of Chain of Custody and labeling to guarantee product traceability. Definitions for acceptable urban areas, urban trees and/or urban wood may need to be adopted. 

To download and review the complete motion, please use the links below:

Recognizing Salvaged Urban Wood as Reclaimed (ENGLISH)

Recognizing Salvaged Urban Wood as Reclaimed (SPANISH)

The FSC Members did not vote to approve "Recognizing Salvaged Urban Wood as Reclaimed" (Motion #40) at the General Assembly in 2011. A total of 38 motions were voted on at the meeting of which 27 passed and 11 failed. The FSC newsletter that summarizes the outcomes of the meeting is now available. Additional information is available at the FSC website.

The members of UFPA are encouraged by the support that was received in the development of this motion, and by positive feedback from FSC members in the Environmental, Social and Economic Chambers. Although urban wood recycling is not a current priority for the FSC, the partners of UFPA will continue to work to increase awareness and support for urban wood recycling.

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Why Vote

By voting to recognize salvaged urban wood as reclaimed, you are voting to:

To read a letter from FSC members in support of the motion, click here.

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How to Vote

If you are an FSC member and will be attending the General Assembly, you can help put good wood to good use by voting for Motion #40 "Recognizing Salvaged Urban Wood as Reclaimed.

FSC members who are unable to attend the General Assembly can ensure their votes are counted by designating another individual/organization as a representative (proxy) to vote on their behalf.

Members who wish to designate a representative have to provide a written statement, signed by two witnesses, indicating the member who will represent them at the FSC General Assembly. Please use the proxy template provided at the FSC website. FSC strongly appeals to those members who can't attend to designate a proxy.

The FSC proxy form and procedure are available at:

http://www.ga.fsc.org/1416.html

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How to Help

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Supporters of the Motion

Jeff Howe, FSC Member, Environmental Chamber
John Gunn, FSC Member, Environmental Chamber, FSC-US Board Member
Robert Hrubes, FSC Member, Economic Chamber
Lynn Jungwirth, FSC Member, Social Chamber, FSC-US Board Member
Dennis Becker, FSC Member, Social Chamber
Stephen Aiguier, FSC Member, Economic Chamber

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The Urban Forest Products Alliance includes individuals and organizations that share the vision of putting all wood from urban trees to good use. If the FSC membership approves the motion to recognize urban wood as reclaimed, the members of the Alliance will help minimize the impact of this motion on FSC resources by offering their time and expertise to assist the FSC staff and membership with implementing the new policy.

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