Last year we exposed the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) dodgy ‘Green star’ ratings. The GBCA award green star ratings for buildings made with timber sourced from unsustainable logging operations in Victoria’s native forests.
Wood certified under the so called 'Responsible Wood' certification scheme (formally Australian Forestry Standard) is being used in so called ‘Green’ buildings that te council has awarded their green tick to. This includes wood from old growth forests, endangered species habitat and critically endangered Mountain Ash forests within the proposed Great Forest National Park
Old growth forest logged in East Gippsland, 2015
In June last year we held a protest at the GBCA “Pillars of Change” event in Melbourne. We distributed information to attendees and coordinated a letter to the GBCA from 27 environment groups. The letter called on the council to re-instate its old 'sustainable timber' credit, where green star points for wood were only available to sources consisting of recycled and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber.
Today we met with the GBCA, who are unfortunately of the view that they cannot adjust their position any time soon. They argue that if they were not awarding their green tick to buildings made with timber from Victorian endangered species habitat it would lead to an increase in wood being used from endangered species habitat overseas.
Sadly, the GBCA seem to care about illegal logging and endangered species in other countries, but not their own where they are happy to award credits to buildings made with endangered timber at the expense of endangered wildlife in our very own country.
It’s time GBCA ended this double standard and stopped endorsing and encouraging logging of endangered wildlife habitat and old growth forests right here at home.
Logging to supply timber for so called ‘Green’ buildings is impacting on 35 forest dependent threatened species. These species have been deemed to be at risk of extinction and identified by a Victorian government expert panel to be under threat from VicForests logging operations. But the GBCA seem to think they are not in a position to rule out timber that is driving these species to extinction. They care about extinction overseas, but not right here in Australia.
Timber from logging these forests cannot be considered a 'green' product, but the Green Building Council has caved into logging industry pressure and weakened their standards.
We are continuing to seek dialogue with the GBCA and will continue to pressure them to change their position and re-instate their old timber credit policy that only awarded green star ratings to buildings using timber from FSC certified forestry operations and recycled timber.
The logging industry needs to change and the GBC must be part of the solution not the problem.