Sunday, 01 July 2001
NYC Council Proposes Bill to Give Preference to FSC Certification
In July, 2000, NYC Council Speaker Peter Vallone introduced Bill No. 784, also known as the Selective Wood Procurement Legislation, or more commonly the “Good Wood" Legislation. Bill 784 addresses all city contracts involving wood products and materials, and identifies FSC as the best example of an independent, third-party forest certification that includes a separate chain-of-custody system.
The City will look to FSC as the tool to guarantee that “its procurement of wood products (originate) from responsibly managed forests." Stakeholders were given the opportunity to publicly voice their support of the legislation at a recent press conference in May. Among the many that testified were FSC, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Consumer’s Choice Council, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, LCV-NY, Justicia Ambiental Latina, Rainforest Alliance and the Office of the NYC Mayor. The NYC Central Labor Council has also endorsed the bill. The next hearing is proposed for July, with the final draft put to the City Council vote in August.
In all, more than 30 groups have been working with the New York City Council in developing the bill. The city’s efforts in utilizing its extensive purchasing power are expected to set a standard both locally and nationally for responsible forest products purchasing. New York City boasts the country’s largest municipal budget, and is third overall only to the federal government and New York State. The purchasing of FSC wood is one part of a major movement by the city towards forward-thinking purchasing practices. Legislation regarding biodegradable packaging, waste minimization, and fair labor practices are also in existence or are in the works. Discussion and action on green procurement has already spread throughout the city. In April, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts instituted a wood products purchasing policy that stipulates buyers should pursue every possible avenue to use FSC-certified wood for all wood used by the school, such as in campus building construction and furnishings. The Parks Department in NYC has used FSC wood in various projects over the years and the boardwalk at Coney Island is made of FSC-certified wood.
For more details or avenues to support the bill, contact Ned Daly of the Consumer’s Choice Council at firstname.lastname@example.org