ATLANTA – The Composite Panel Assn. has expanded its Eco-Certified Composite (ECC) Certification Program to include manufacturers of finished products, components and laminated parts for cabinetry, furniture, casegoods and closets. The announcement was made Aug. 22 during the International Woodworking Fair (IWF).

“North American composite panel producers have quickly embraced the rigorous new ECC Sustainability Standard for their production,” CPA President Tom Julia said in a statement. “CPA is please to offer ECC certification to the rest of the value chain now as a verifiable way of showcasing products with a low carbon footprint, low emissions and a great life cycle story.”

The ECC Sustainability Standard is based on the CPA’s ECC Standard and, according to the association, “is the first such comprehensive standard for industry products in the world.” Among the many fabricators and laminators CPA said it expects to seek ECC certification this year is Sauder Woodworking.

“Sauder is committed to ECC certification for all our domestic furniture production as further demonstration of our dedication to sustainable, green products for the American consumer,” President/CEO Kevin Sauder said in a statement. “The ECC logo signifies certification to the toughest new environmental standard for renewable recycled and carbon-neutral wood products, and we’re convinced this will have a positive impact on our environment.”

Designed for manufacturers of MDF, particleboard, hardboard and engineered wood siding and trim, the ECC Standard focuses on life cycle inventory and other verifiable environmental practices. Launched in early 2012, a key component of ECC is the CPA Carbon Calculator, a tool developed by a third-party expert to assess the life cycle and carbon footprint of composite wood panels. The standard also requires compliance with CPA’s Quality Assurance Manual and an annual audit of individual manufacturing plants.

According to CPA, currently 47 plants, representing 62 percent of the industry production capacity are ECC certified. For more information about the program visit ECCProduct.org.

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