Berea College received Full Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Project certification for its latest construction project, the newly built Margaret A. Cargill (MAC) Natural Sciences and Health Project building. FSC certification verifies that FSC-labeled products come from a forest and supply chain managed in an environmentally, economically and socially responsible way. Currently there are a dozen FSC buildings or projects in the U.S. Five of them are on Berea College’s campus.
Successfully obtaining FSC Chain of Custody certification reflects Berea’s long-standing commitment to sustainable operations and verifies FSC-certified material has been identified and separated from non-certified/non-controlled material during the construction process. Sustainability refers to the capacity of a society to meet current needs without degrading the ecological, social and economic systems on which the society will rely for meeting future needs.
In the new MAC Natural Sciences and Health building there are many notable sustainability aspects. One sustainable feature of this new high-tech building involved low-tech horse-logging techniques to sustainably harvest timber from ash trees that were at risk from the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. Once the timber was milled, Berea College Woodcraft students designed and constructed the beautiful native-ash panels that now sheathe the building’s atrium.
Berea College’s commitment to sustainability is integrated into its mission and stems from one of its eight Great Commitments “to encourage in all members of the community a way of life characterized by plain living, pride in labor well done, zest for learning, high personal standards, and concern for the welfare of others.”
For Berea College, sustainability refers to the capacity of individuals, communities and societies to coexist in a manner that maintains social justice, environmental integrity and economic well-being today and for future generations.
FSC certification—considered the gold standard in forest certification—sets standards for responsible forest management and uses its power of the marketplace to protect forests for future generations. Currently, more than 380 million acres of forest are certified under FSC’s system, of which 150 million acres are in the U.S. and Canada.