Sustainable by nature Articles Floor Covering Weekly

Sustainable by nature Articles Floor Covering Weekly

Hardwood inherently has a number of sustainable advantages but suppliers too have worked diligently and made sizeable investments to receive respected third-party certifications.

“I think that today’s wood flooring, especially wood flooring manufactured in the United States, is a ‘green’ product by its nature,” noted Paul Stringer, vice president of sales and marketing at Somerset Hardwood Flooring.

Milton Goodwin, vice president of product management, wood, at Armstrong, added, “There isn’t a shortage of trees that we utilize to make our product because trees are replanted. It’s basically an endless supply of resources we can pull from to produce both the solid and engineered products we make,” he said.

Dan Natkin, director of wood and laminate business at Mannington, agreed, “North America has one of the most sustainable hardwood forest areas in the world. Couple with that the fact that products like engineered hardwood continue to grow, using fewer trees for every square foot of production, and improved glues and finishes minimize any potential air quality impact,” he said.

Goodwin at Armstrong added that hardwood contributes to healthy indoor living as well. “If there is dirt or dust on a hardwood floor you can see it and clean it up, it’s sitting on top of the floor. Hardwood doesn’t hold dirt,” he said.

Stringer at Somerset said that sustainability also matters when it comes to company resources. “We prepare 100 year plans on timberland we own, we have foresters on staff and we use our waste to create bio-fuels that reduce our country’s dependency on fossil fuels. Nothing in our wood production goes to the landfill,” he said.

Natkin at Mannington explained that green and efficient manufacturing generally go hand in hand. “The fewer raw materials we put into the waste stream, the more cost effective we become,” he said.

Agreed Goodwin, “We use all of the wood, all the way down to the sawdust. We use remaining pieces to heat the boilers that run our plants. Utilizing 100 percent of what you take from the forest is good for business.”

Shaw leverages hardwood veneers and solids that are grown in sustainably managed North American forests, according to David Wilkerson, director of corporate sustainability.

“Since hardwood trees are a renewable resource, that enhances their green credentials. This is confirmed by the Cradle to Cradle Silver certification we have earned on all of our hardwood products which effectively differentiates them in the market place,” said Wilkerson.

Mohawk too utilizes certifications with all of its brands. “Mohawk and Columbia FloorScore certified products meet criteria required by a variety of other well-respected organizations,” explained Harry Bogner, senior vice president, hardwood, at Unilin. “The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) accepts FloorScore certified products as compliant with LEED Green Building Rating Systems for residential and commercial ‘low emitting’ materials.”

Environmentally responsible finishes are also part of the equation, noted Kevin Thompson, hardwood and laminate category manager at Shaw. “Since solvent-based finishes were eliminated many years ago, finishes are already environmentally-friendly. Lower emission adhesives as well as low-waste manufacturing processes make the biggest impact toward green today,” he said.

From its environmentally responsible EnCore products, which utilize 50 percent less of newly harvested wood than traditional engineered flooring, and Greenguard certified enSURANCE installation products to its unofficial tagline “This is what it means to be green,” Anderson Hardwoods has been at the forefront of environmental product development.

Green is also an important attribute when it comes to the commercial market.“As a growing segment of the market, it’s important for builders to be communicating that green message. It’s as important to them as it is to us,” Goodwin noted.

PureBond technology and third party certifications support Mohawk’s family of brands.

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