SFO, Architects to Receive First-Ever Award for World’s Largest FSC-Certified Wood Wall

NRDC, CFPC to Announce Opening of Certified Wood Exhibit in North Terminal Gallery

San Francisco, CA (Aug. 2, 2000) - San Francisco International Airport (SFO) today unveiled a dramatic 21,000-square-foot cherry wood wall made entirely from wood veneer that has been certified as good for the environment. The stunning wood wall is an architectural focal point of SFO’s $2.4 billion improvement and expansion program. Comprised of 956 individual panels, the 670-foot by 38-foot wall towers over the ticket counters in the new International Terminal, which opens to the public on September 26, 2000.

The cherry wood originated in forests that were certified as "well-managed" according to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an internationally recognized nonprofit organization. FSC-certified wood and wood products carry the FSC checkmark-and-tree logo, a seal of environmental approval, enabling consumers to make informed purchase decisions.

"By using FSC-certified wood, the airport is setting an important example of how exceptional architecture can foster environmental stewardship," said Kate Heaton, senior forestry specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC is a national environmental organization that is waging a battle against clearcutting ancient forests in regions such as British Columbia, Canada. "The airport is supporting a higher standard in forestry, which maintains wildlife habitat, clean water and air, and timber supplies for generations to come. We encourage all consumers to express a preference for FSC-certified wood products."

SFO and Architects Receive Award

In recognition of the airport’s large-scale public use of FSC-certified wood, the non-profit Certified Forest Products Council (CFPC) is presenting its first-ever "Certified Wood Award" to SFO and its architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Del Campo & Maru, and Michael Willis & Associates.

"We commend San Francisco International Airport and its architects for their leadership in specifying and purchasing wood from FSC-certified, well-managed forests," said David Ford, president of the Certified Forest Products Council, a non-profit business organization committed to the conservation, protection, and restoration of the world's forests. "Through their choice of certified wood, the airport and its architects have sent a clear message that San Francisco knows how to support the conservation, protection, and restoration of the world's forests, which is exactly what the people of this progressive city want."

Architectural Forest Enterprises, based in Brisbane, California, fabricated the panels for the certified wood wall. The cherry wood originated in an FSC-certified forest in Pennsylvania.

Certified Wood Exhibit Opens To Public

Concurrent with the opening of the new International Terminal, San Francisco Airport Museums is sponsoring an exhibition of certified wood in the airport's North Connector Gallery. Entitled "From the Forest Floor to the Living Room Floor: Certified Wood," the exhibit will feature approximately 35 objects, including fine furniture and musical instruments.

"Through our decision to use certified wood in the heart of our new International Terminal, we ourselves have become educated and enthusiastic about the positive environmental impacts of using FSC-certified wood products," said SFO Airport Director John Martin. "We wanted to take advantage of our unique public position and, through this exhibit, help educate the 40 million travelers who pass through SFO annually."

Educational displays in the exhibit discuss the importance of forests, the need to prevent their destruction, and the role of certification as a tool to promote forest conservation. The certified wood exhibit runs August 2000 through February 2001 in SFO’s North Terminal. The exhibit was organized with the assistance of NRDC and CFPC.

FSC Certification Program Background

Endorsed by environmental organizations and forest interests alike for its high standards and open process, the Forest Stewardship Council's forest certification program is the most widely supported in the world. Certification is awarded only to forestry operations that pass a stringent, voluntary, independent audit by an accredited team of scientists and forestry professionals. The wood is tracked during the entire manufacturing process, so consumers have assurance that it came from a certified forest.

The FSC was formed in 1993 by an alliance of concerned businesses, environmentalists, labor and community groups, and scientists in order to set international standards for forest stewardship and accredit legitimate forest certifiers worldwide. To date, some 50 million acres of forestland in 30 countries have been certified under the FSC system.

Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, the Certified Forest Product Council is a non-profit [501(c)(3)] business organization that advocates responsible forest products purchasing by North American business, industry, and institutions as a tool to promote the conservation, protection, and restoration of the world's forests. CFPC advocates the adoption of independent third-party forest certification as a means of ensuring that forest processes support sustainability. CFPC brings businesses together with environmental interests to build collaborative purchase-power-based solutions to drive change in the management of the world's forests. More information is available via the CFPC Web Site .

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 400,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.