Environmental Commitments from Our Brands
The flooring industry has numerous green initiatives and pledges to keep the earth and your home a happy and healthy place.
Let’s take a look at some of these initiatives and what they represent.
Sustainably Sourced Wood
Starting from the source, these green certifications ensure that hardwood flooring is sustainably sourced, maintaining a healthy harvest that doesn’t deplete over time and become rare or even extinct.
NWFA Verified–The National Wood Flooring Association verifies that hardwood was responsibly harvested using sustainable forestry practices.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)–Another certification for responsibly harvested wood, the FSC verifies the manufacturing of flooring by special order and provides third-party certification.
Lacey Act–The Lacey Act regulates the import of both domestic and internationally-protected wood species. In doing so, it also prevents the spread of potentially invasive, non-native species.
AHMI (Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc.) Verified Sustainable–On a local level, Appalachian Hardwood Verified Sustainable ensures that lumber and products sourced from the region grow at 2.4 times the combined mortality and harvest rate.
Air Quality and VOCs
Flooring as a whole undergoes a highly-involved production process. This means that harmful chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can eventually make their way into our buildings. However, here is a list of certifications and compliances to look for in a flooring manufacturer to keep a healthy indoor air quality (IAQ) and limit your chemical exposure.
FloorScore Certified–The highly recognized FloorScore® sets the standard for indoor air quality certification. It covers every material used, from adhesives to the flooring itself.
CARB Compliant–The California Air Resources Board established this compliance along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set the formaldehyde emissions standards for composite wood products.
Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly–This certification guarantees that any flooring and installation materials like adhesives are allergen-free. To obtain this certification, flooring manufacturers must meet several strict standards.
- Phthalate Free–Phthalates are harmful compounds used in many products today to achieve a flexible material–but it is used specifically in vinyl flooring. Today, some manufacturers have gone “Phthalate Free” and are using plasticizer alternatives instead. They have also pledged to use phthalate-free recycled content.
- ASSURE Certified - This cerification applies to WPC or SPC flooring construction and tests for indoor air quality, rigorous performance, and low heavy metals & ortho-phthalates content.
For an in-depth look at how our brands are making a difference today to protect future generations, review these manufacturer statements. Read more detail about industry regulations in Environmental Certifications for Flooring.
Azalea Lane Flooring is a diverse mix of hardwood flooring sourced from domestic and internation resources that have been CARB II verified.
Palmetto Road sources products from two diﬀerent manufacturers who adhere to the strict guidelines for health and environmental safety as determined by the U.S. government and California Air Resources Board (CARB). All Palmetto Road products are manufactured in facilities that have been certified by highly reputable independent Third-Party testing companies to meet CARB II standards for extremely low levels of formaldehyde emissions. Palmetto Road waterproof products have been FloorScore Certified and achieved Greenguard Gold status.
Metroflor is focused on sustainability, recycled content, and green building. Many products are manufactured from 100% pure virgin vinyl, coupled with non-phthalate plasticizers. Beyond its performance advantages, 100% virgin vinyl ensures the product’s purity for future recyclability. Metroflor's rigid core products have been ASSURE Certified.
Beauflor USA is committed to American manufacturing and the production carbon footprint. Beauflor vinyl floors are made of 100% recyclable material. The new Georgia manufacturing facility exceeds U.S. energy efficiency standards, thanks to deliberate design decisions, including energy captures and heat exchangers for recycling energy and afterburners to purify the air of fumes.
Hearthwood supports sustainable forests and promotes healthy indoor air quality by using water-based or UV-based stains and topcoats that are third party certified as low-emitting materials. Sawdust that is created as a byproduct is sold to companies that use it to encapsulate industrial hazardous waste, woodchips are run through an emission-free biomass boiler to power equipment in the plant, and other leftover materials have been used to create decorative art pieces.
Somerset Hardwood Flooring turns Appalachian hardwood lumber into fine residential flooring enjoyed in homes across America. All the sawdust generated is used to provide heat and steam to fuel manufacturing operations, or goes to supply the Somerset Wood Pellet fuel facility. Somerset brand pellets are sold across the U.S. through major pellet distributors and retailers for use in pellet stoves.
Credit: Statements in this article are copied, in part, from the respective manufacturer websites.
All photo credits: iStock