New website to track the use of 'good wood' in Olympic venues

Feature story - February 14, 2008
We've launched a new website to ensure 'good wood' is used to build the villages and venues of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The new website, GoodWoodWatch.ca, will track use of environmentally and socially responsible Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood.

Sky jumps at the Whistler Nordic Venue.

In its bid to hold the Games, Vancouver 2010 committed that new buildings and infrastructure required for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games will be a showcase of the best in green building design and construction techniques. And we're holding them to that promise.

Greenpeace and a coalition of environmental groups behind the website are calling on the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) and all Olympic venues to use FSC-certified wood in their building construction.  The FSC is an internationally recognized standard for environmental and socially responsible management of forests. For over two years, environmental groups have been in contact with VANOC, regional municipalities and venue architects to educate and advocate for the use of wood from responsibly managed forests with mixed results.

Will VANOC get a gold medal for sustainability? The coming months of construction will lay the foundation for the Games' environmental record.  The world is watching and the time to use FSC-certified wood in the Olympic venues is now.

The launch of GoodWoodWatch.ca marks the beginning of a Greenpeace survey of FSC wood use in Olympic venues. The results, to be released in the coming months, will give Canadians and the international community a way to assess the footprint of the Vancouver Olympic Games on the world's forests.

The Canadian public deserves to know the environmental footprint its Olympics are making on the forests of British Columbia.  This website is a way to reward the leaders and expose the laggards, in Olympic fashion.

More than ninety million hectares of forest are FSC-certified, with the largest forest area here in Canada. Forest Stewardship Council Certification is currently the only way to guarantee that wood, paper and other forest products come from sustainably managed forests.

More information on the FSC can be found at www.fsc.org.

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