The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn.'s work in developing new programs helps keep cabinetmakers competitive in the global marketplace.

ESP. Just three initials, but they have a wealth of meaning to those involved in the kitchen cabinet industry. Specifically, those companies interested in taking an active role in environmental leadership - locally, nationally and globally.

ESP stands for the new Environmental Stewardship Program, which has been developed by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn. The KCMA developed ESP with defined certification requirements, to enable cabinet manufacturers to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to sound environmental practices and sustainable manufacturing. ESP primarily is aimed at residential applications.

"KCMA was one of the stakeholder organizations that participated in the NAHB process to develop the Green Home Building Guidelines that were released in January 2005. New housing and repair and remodeling are major markets for KCMA member products," says C. Richard Titus, executive vice president.

"For years, KCMA has worked to inform the public of the responsible forest management programs practiced by cabinet manufacturers and their suppliers. In 2001, KCMA adopted an industry policy affirming support for responsible forest management practices that promote sustainability. Specific programs referenced include SFI, CSA, American Tree Farm and FSC. The ESP provides a great tool to organize, encourage and further promote these ongoing efforts," he adds.

According to Titus, it took approximately two years to finalize ESP.  "The development process of ESP included member surveys, input by leaders in green building such as Dr. Patrick Moore, the Green Building Initiative, American Forest & Paper Assn., the U.S. Green Building Council and the North American Coalition for Green Building," he says.

This certification program enables cabinet manufacturers to demonstrate sound environmental management and sustainable practices through a rigorous compliance review. In order to qualify, ESP participants must accumulate points in the areas of air quality, product resource management, process resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations.

Participants who demonstrate compliance in these categories receive the official ESP designation and are awarded the ESP certification seal to display on their products. Companies do not have to be KCMA members to participate in the certification program.

Since launching ESP at the 2006 International Woodworking Fair, the voluntary certification program has been enthusiastically received by cabinet manufacturers of all sizes, Titus says. To date, 10 companies and 14 brands have already met the certification requirements of the program, with nearly 13 more cabinet companies expected to complete the process shortly.

Currently, the list of certified plants and their locations includes: Canyon Creek Cabinet Co., Monroe, WA; Dura Supreme Inc., Howard Lake, MN; Hagerstown Kitchens Inc., Hagerstown, MD.; HomeCrest Cabinetry, Goshen, IN; Kitchen Kompact Inc., Jeffersonville, IN; Omega Cabinetry, Clinton, TN, and Waterloo, IA; Pacific Crest Industries, Sumner, WA; Showplace Wood Products Inc., Harrisburg, SD; StarMark Cabinetry, Sioux Falls, SD; and Wellborn Cabinet Inc., Ashland, AL.

To date, the following cabinet brands have also met the requirements for ESP certification: American Woodmark, Aristokraft Cabinetry, Decorá, Diamond Cabinets, Diamond Reflections, Kemper Cabinetry, Kitchen Classics, Merillat, Quality Cabinets, Schrock, Shenandoah Cabinetry, Somersby Cabinetry, Thomasville Cabinetry and Timberlake.

"here are many benefits for cabinet companies who participate in the ESP certification program," Titus says. "It 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."

About the KCMA

With more than 380 members, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn. is the only national trade association that exclusively represents cabinet manufacturers, decorative laminate product fabricators and suppliers to the industry.

Active membership is limited to manufacturers of cabinets and fabricators of decorative laminate products. Suppliers to the industry are considered as associate members. Both active and associate members are represented on the board of directors and are actively involved in KCMA activities. The association recently celebrated its 52nd anniversary.

For more information about the KCMA visit
www.kcma.org. You can also contact the KCMA by phone at (703) 264-1690, FAX: (703) 620-6530 or via e-mail at info@kcma.org.

Sustainable Forest Beliefs
Adopted by the KCMA Sept. 20, 2001

The forests not only provide outstanding environmental benefits, but also provide an array of renewable wood products and derivatives that are widely used in paper, packaging, building, furnishings and a host of other applications. The global wood products industry, therefore, has an inherent responsibility to the environment and, in particular, a responsibility to the world’s forests and their sustainability. As industry leaders, we fully support responsible forest management practices that promote first sustainability and that result in long-term economic and environmental benefit.

As industry leaders, while encouraging the continued and expanded use of forest products, we are committed to promoting the principle of the conservation and the intelligent use of our natural resources. To demonstrate our commitment, we endorse the policy of promoting the sustainability of forests.

We care about our forests. It is our commitment and our challenge to promote the practice of sustainable forestry to meet the environmental and human needs of today without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations.

We recognize sustainable forestry certification ca

 

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