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Perkins+Will Suggests Green Forestry at Risk


MINNEAPOLIS – Perkins+Will, a global leader in sustainable architecture and design, recently released updated comments regarding the proposed third certified wood credit benchmark issued by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Perkins+Will “FSC Equal + Better” stance establishes performance indicators the firm considers equivalent to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) criteria, and they have added options for carbon accounting, tightening the criteria on ecologically warranted clear cuts and addressing non-forest ecosystem conversions.

Through its “FSC Equal + Better” stance, Perkins+Will provides detailed comments on the USGBC’s benchmark that threatens to reverse important forest stewardship advancements made globally by FSC over the past 17 years. Specifically, it proposes several key changes and solutions to the USGBC benchmark in the following areas:

  • Certification Body Governance
  • Rights of local and  indigenous people
  • Clear cutting
  • Illegal logging
  • Pesticides, herbicides and precautionary substances
  • Genetically modified organisms

“We developed ‘FSC Equal + Better’ to promote regenerative forestry practices and encourage the market to move forward, while providing possible solutions for the USGBC,” says Doug Pierce, a senior associate, AIA, LEED AP, and author of the firm’s stance and specific comments. “As a firm, we’re looking beyond sustainability at regenerative design. To make that a reality our architects and designers need products that truly meet the triple bottom line of ecological integrity, economic vitality and social balance. This isn’t about labels or brands, it’s about real, on-the-ground performance, and going backwards is simply not an option.”

Perkins+Will’s “FSC Equal + Better” also outlines the need for provisions that go beyond any current wood standard label to ensure the promotion of regenerative forestry. This includes calculating net carbon uptake in forest management, restoring lost old-growth forests, limiting the conversion of any natural eco-system to forest or other non-forest uses, converting plantation back to natural forest after harvest and limiting ecological warranted clear cuts to 20 acres without scientific rationale.

With more than 1,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, Perkins+Will is dedicated to promoting sustainable design and educating the industry about green building and its importance. To read the Perkins+Will stance on the USGBC benchmark and its “FSC Equal + Better” visit

About Perkins+Will
Established in 1935, Perkins+Will ( is an integrated design firm serving clients from 21 offices around the world. The firm practices architecture, interiors, branded environments, planning + strategies and urban design with clients in the aviation, corporate + commercial + civic, health care, higher education, K-12 education, and science + technology markets. Perkins+Will routinely ranks among the world's top design firms and has received hundreds of awards, including the prestigious American Institute of Architects' "Firm of the Year Award."  With more LEED Accredited Professionals than any other design firm, Perkins+Will is recognized as a leader in the sustainable design movement.