An editorial by Rich Christianson.

Bill Weaver doesn’t need extrasensory perception to see a vital future for the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer Assn.’s new Environmental Stewardship Program.

Weaver, president and CEO of Canyon Creek Cabinet Co. of Monroe, WA, and president of the KCMA, knows a thing or two about the importance and benefits of cabinetmakers taking a proactive stand on environmental issues. His company has been lauded many times over by local, state and federal agencies and organizations for environmental leadership in the areas of air quality, energy/resource conservation and sustainable products. Included among the numerous awards Canyon Creek has received are:

• Governor’s Award for Outstanding Pollution Prevention (1999);
• EPA Evergreen Award for Environmental Excellence (2000); and
• Association of Washington Business and the Northwest Environmental Business Council “Contin- uous Improvement in Resource Conservation Award” (2004).

Being an environmental steward does not come without costs, be it the price of a more efficient dust collection system or a hefty capital expenditure to convert to a finishing system that reduces volatile organic compound emissions. Yet, Weaver prefers to look at these types of costs as investments that can pay off in more ways than one. As a perennial member of Wood & Wood Products’ annual WOOD 100, Canyon Creek’s annual sales have soared from $34 million in 1998 to more than $90 million last year. The company’s uncanny ability to balance environmental leadership with great financial growth earned it recognition by W&WP as “America’s Best” in 2004.

First on Board the ESP Bandwagon
Not surprising, when the KCMA rolled out its Environmental Stewardship Program last fall, Weaver was first in line to see that Canyon Creek fulfilled the requirements for ESP certification.

A comprehensive report on the ESP program is featured in this issue. In a nutshell, though, the ESP provides cabinet manufacturers with a third-party certifiable program to “demonstrate their commitment to sound environmental management and sustainable practices in the production of their products in areas that impact the environment and their community.”

As Weaver sees it, the ESP program sums up the bundle of individual initiatives Canyon Creek has implemented over the years. “Our company has a solid record of environmental achievement and this was a natural extension of our efforts,” he says. “Our customers tend to be concerned about the impact their actions have on the environment and look for environmentally friendly companies to purchase from.”

See Weaver Speak in Texas

Environmental stewardship is one of the topics of two free keynote sessions that will be presented by representatives of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn. at the Texas Woodworking Show & Cabinet Conference, March 7-9, in Dallas.

Bill Weaver, president and CEO of Canyon Creek Cabinet of Monroe, WA, and current president of the KCMA, will be joined on stage by KCMA Executive Vice President Dick Titus. Both sessions will be held in the ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel, located adjacent to Market Hall at the Dallas Market Center.

The first session, “Environmental Stewardship: An Expanding Role for Cabinetmakers,” is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 8.

The second session, “The Status of the Kitchen Cabinet Industry: What the Future Holds,” is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 9.

For more information, visit

As of this writing, 10 other cabinet manufacturing companies have joined Canyon Creek with ESP certification. A baker’s dozen more cabinet manufacturers were in the process of fulfilling the requirements to be certified.

Dick Titus, executive vice president of the KCMA, notes, “(ESP) requires a solid baseline of sound environmental accomplishments and practices to qualify for certification. That is its own reward, including some economic benefits. Further, the certification is a great promotional tool, as well as providing third-party evidence of compliance with environmental considerations now requested by some consumers and other specifiers.”

We applaud the KCMA and its members for developing and supporting the ESP. This voluntary program helps raise the conscience level of environmental awareness throughout the entire supply chain and on to the consumer. We hope W&WP readers will take heed and continue to find ways to do a better job of protecting the planet and safeguarding the wood products industry’s future.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.