This time of year I have a tendency to reflect on the past. While thinking about the past I remembered my years of dealing with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
I started learning about the USGBC and LEED back in the mid to late 90’s through my association with the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI). Early on AWI was invited to join a coalition of wood related associations that were trying diligently to have a conversation with USGBC. USGBC originally was not receptive to an open dialogue with trade associations or manufacturers. For over two years the coalition was barely able to get USGBC to listen to our point of view.
Over the next twenty years, I have seen some relaxing of the policies of USGBC. We at AWI have developed relationships with some of the staff at USGBC which has proved to be invaluable. At this year’s Greenbuild a considerable amount of the educational programs were presented by manufacturers and trade associations.
However these are not the only changes we have seen over the years in the green building environment. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) had a similar policy when we first approached them. At Greenbuild in San Francisco I had an opportunity to sit with Corey Brinkema and Lori Knosella to discuss both sides position to get a better understanding of each other’s issues. Since that time we have worked together for our mutual benefit. To this point FSC and USGBC developed a new way for woodworkers to calculate the Certified Wood credit.
We don’t know how these relationships will blossom in the future but I am a firm believer that we need to keep an open dialogue for the betterment of all parties involved. Now if I could just get USGBC to standardize their reporting forms we could actually teach people the proper way to fill them out and not affect cash flow.
I can dream can’t I?