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New Wallcovering Standard Offers Sustainability Stamp of Approval

Oct 2015

The wallcovering industry has a powerful sustainability standard to provide interior designers and their clients with certified sustainable products.

This new standard, says the Wallcoverings Association (WA), “helps specifiers and buyers identify environmentally preferable wallcoverings.”

In remarks about sustainability, WA President Rick Hickman said that the standard is the first ever “that takes into account manufacturing and distribution… We work together to drive our point total higher… and that really drives for an innovative standard.”

Miles Glidden, J. Josephson, said that his company is “thrilled” with the new standard and “what it means to the sustainability parts of wallcovering in our industry.”

Sustainability from Cradle to Grave

Sustainability Standard NSF/ANSI 342 covers vinyl, textiles, alternative polymers, paper, and other natural fiber products.

The standard looks at a product from raw material extraction to disposal at end of life. 

This comprehensive life-cycle standard uses a point system to evaluate products in six areas:

  • product design

  • product manufacturing

  • long-term value

  • end-of-life management

  • corporate governance

  • innovation

Both manufacturers and distributors have to quality for the standard. This requires collaboration in order to drive innovation and continuous improvement across the product life cycle.

Certification Provides Green Stamp of Approval

According to NSF, certification provides a “green” stamp of approval for designers and others looking for sustainable products. To date, over 900 wallcovering styles have been certified under the new standard.

In a conversation about Trends in Wallcovering, Gina Shaw, York Wallcoverings, said that “designers look for that logo and look for that symbol. It qualifies and makes them feel good about the products.”

And Tricia Sayler, TRI-KES, said that her customers “have grown to expect all companies that they do business with to be environmentally friendly. Being part of NSF 342 and following all those guidelines is just something that’s an expected reality.”

In addition to certifying the sustainability of a product, the new standard enables manufacturers and distributors to meet state and federal procurement sustainable procurement guidelines. In the long run, as companies continue to innovate both their operational and business processes, achieving certification should also prove cost-effective across the product life cycle.