FSC Availability?

Greetings all,

I am consulting on a new build for a MA-based college campus that has intentionally designed for wood structure as a substantial portion of the work to reduce embodied carbon impact, spec’ing FSC sourcing. We’ve been learning from the CM and vendors that it is exceptionally difficult to find FSC-certified materials right now amidst the supply chain and market disruptions in the lumber industry. Specifically, National Lumber has dropped all FSC certifications, it is seemingly impossible to find FSC-certified LVLs, and framing lumber and plywood, if you can find it, is 25% more expensive and comes from locations far from the project site in the northeastern US.

To be clear, the value in FSC here is to do our level best in confirming the quality of forest management practices. There is a potential this project may end up running through ILFI’s Zero Carbon program, and while we do not need FSC certified wood to claim storage to comply (I’m not super comfortable claiming storage values for wood even if FSC certified, to be honest), it is also an important part of telling the story for the college, as well as the obvious chain of custody and management transparency that the certification offers.

Has anyone had luck sourcing FSC-certified dimensional framing lumber, structural plywood, or LVLs within the last few months, or leads on procurement? Thanks in advance for any support.

My best to you all,
Jacob Racusin
New Frameworks

Hi Jacob,

Has the team considered sourcing SFI certified material? The standards are very similar and robust, and SFI’s additional work in conservation, community and enivronmental education makes for an incredible opportunity to ‘tell the story’ and help the college meet ESG and sustainability goals. Happy to connect.

Hey Jacob,

No luck with sourcing practically any wood FSC. We tried to buy any FSC Walnut pre C-19 and there simply isn’t available. After talking with Foresters on both coasts there is only a value in the paperwork aspect… in other words, they don’t have to do it, which saves them money. This needs to change if we want folks to follow through with transparency. Did you go North of the border?

Sorry I can’t be more help


Hi Walter - thanks for this, I appreciate it. Yep, we’ve got some leads for some products in Quebec/Ontario, I believe. I’m curious to see if the transparency behind wood products is able to mature along with the market!


Jacob, contact me at scott@lowcarboninitiative.org and I’ll connect you with the top guy over at FSC who can do his best to get you supplied. Cheers, Scott