SIPA Member Ainsworth Earns FSC Certification for Jumbo Panels
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May 25, 2007 - Press Release by SIPA
Structural Insulated Panel Components Now Qualify for LEED Credits...

Vancouver, CANADA -- Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) member Ainsworth has received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its three Minnesota mills producing oriented strand board. The mills, located in Bemidji, Cook and Grand Rapids, Minn., obtained chain of custody certification through the SmartWood Program. All products from the Minnesota mills will be available with the FSC Mixed Sources label, which indicates that the wood comes from FSC certified well managed forests, company controlled sources and/or recycled material. Currently, FSC is the only sustainable forest certification program recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating systems.

The certified mills manufacture jumbo-sized oriented strand board (OSB) panels used in the production of structural insulated panels (SIPs). "We're delighted to offer SIP manufacturers the option to use FSC-certified product in their panels," says Terry Stone, general manager, marketing at Ainsworth. "Builders are seeking reassurance that products come from well-managed forests," Stone explains. "We wanted to demonstrate to our customers that we can deliver the environmentally considerate products the marketplace is looking for," he adds.

Builders can use FSC certified products such as SIPs made with Ainsworth panels to qualify for LEED credits on applicable projects. According to Bill Wachtler, Executive Director at SIPA, LEED certification is becoming increasingly important. "With the energy efficiency points available with SIPs, FSC certification makes SIPs an ideal building envelope product for any LEED project, commercial or residential." Wachtler believes that this offers SIP manufacturers an opportunity for growth. "SIPs are really taking off as a green product, and FSC certified OSB will broaden their appeal even further," Wachtler says.

SIP manufacturers will need to apply for FSC Chain of Custody certification to ensure the chain is not broken when distributing products with the FSC logo to customers seeking LEED points.

According to Stone, Ainsworth is committed to maintaining the integrity of the environment through responsible and sustainable forest management and stewardship. "We conduct all activities with a high regard for sustainability, from harvesting and road building to reforestation and water quality protection," Stone explains. "We also work closely with logging contractors, independent timber suppliers, and the public and private landowners to ensure our standards for sustainable forest products are met."

The Forest Stewardship Council's mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forest. For more information about FSC, visit www.fsc.org. Article Manager module by by George! Software.