As of September 2008, USGBC has more than 17,000 member organizations from every sector of the building industry and works to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. To achieve this it has developed a variety of programs and services, and works closely with key industry and research organizations and federal, state and local government agencies.
USGBC also offers a host of educational opportunities, including workshops and Web-based seminars to educate the public and industry professionals on different elements of the green building industry, from the basics to more technical information. Through its Green Building Certification Institute, USGBC offers industry professionals the chance to develop expertise in the field of green building and to receive accreditation as green building professionals.
Wood sourcing is a credit under several of the LEED rating systems (New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors). Until now, FSC has been the recognized label for sustainable wood. The USGBC is now considering opening this to other forest certification systems. The proposed benchmarks for acceptable systems would have many requirements for open governance and public participation. However, the technical benchmark for forest management does not give any special protection to old growth forests. It is also silent on clear-cutting and has not requirements for speed and type of reforestation. The proposed forestry benchmarks are open for public comment until September 7th, 2008. They will then go to ballot before the membership. To make comment, visit www.usgbc.org and click on the LEED 2009 Public Comment box. The benchmark document is buried in there.