RESTON, VA – The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn. recently approved measures to strengthen and clarify requirements for companies to attain certification under the association’s Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP). The changes are effective Jan. 1, 2010. Currently, more than 150 companies/brands are ESP certified.

Compliance with all applicable local, state and federal environmental regulations is a fundamental ESP requirement. To strengthen that, ESP now requires participants to report any violation resulting in a fine exceeding $50,000 to KCMA within 60 days. Final resolution of such a violation could result in termination of the participant from the ESP program.

In addition, ESP now encourages increased use of low-formaldehyde-emitting materials in the production of cabinetry. Points are awarded for participants who use at least 80% (formerly 75%) particleboard, MDF and hardwood plywood that comply with the emissions limits established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in its Compwood ATCM in the manufacture of their cabinets. Third-party certification and labeling are required to demonstrate compliance. ESP will continue to require the increased use of CARB-compliant low-emitting components as cabinet suppliers are able to increase production of those materials.

To earn points under the Product Resource Management criteria, 80% (formerly 75%) of particleboard, MDF, and hardwood plywood used in cabinets must contain 100% recycled or recovered fiber content.

“From ESP’s inception, KCMA has always planned to continuously improve the program to reflect technological advances, industry standards, and new regulations,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president, KCMA. “We plan to regularly re-evaluate ESP to not only to reflect the needs and demands of our customers, but to insure that the environment truly is protected and that ESP cabinets are environmentally friendly.”

To be certified, applicants must earn points in each of the five ESP categories: air quality, product resource management, process resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations in order to quality.

The ESP seal, located on the sink base cabinet of all certified brands, can identify the cabinets. To obtain a complete list of ESP certified manufacturers and suppliers, visit

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