The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has announced a partnership with SCS, FSC, and the FSC Family Forests Alliance to develop and promote the NWFA Responsible Procurement Program (RPP).  The goal of this initiative is to harness the power of the U.S. wood flooring industry to recognize and promote environmentally and socially responsible forest management in the regions that supply the timber on which we all depend.

NWFA has entered into Memorandum of Understanding with both FSC-US and FSC Family Forest Alliance.  Corey Brinkema, FSC-US President stated, “FSC-US is committed to supporting NWFA in its efforts to develop, implement and promote the NWFA RPP.”

The NWFA RPP provides progressive “tiers” in which participants gradually move upward toward higher levels of social and environmental responsibility and performance.

Tier 1 requires participation in the NWFA Verified Renewing Forests program – and enables use of the NWFA Verified Sourced from U.S. Renewing Forests label – for domestically sourced wood flooring products in off-product claims only. It also requires participation in the NWFA Verified Legal Origin program for imported products from high-risk countries and enables use of the NWFA Verified Legal Imported label.  Program participants have three years to progress from Tier 1 to Tier 2.

Tier 2 requires FSC Chain-of-Custody certification and a commitment to building, over time, trade in FSC-certified wood products. Participants also are required to meet FSC Controlled Wood standards for all of their non-FSC certified supply within two years of progressing to Tier 2.  Importers from high-risk countries advancing to Tier 2 are required to complete the NWFA Verified Legal Origin program for all products that require legality verification.

Tier 3 is the highest level of achievement within the NWFA RPP. It grants recognition to companies whose trade in FSC-certified products exceeds 50% of overall sales and whose non-FSC sales meet FSC Controlled Wood standards.

 Quality assurance for the NWFA RPP is provided by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). Key RPP partners include SCS, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) U.S., and the FSC Family Forests Alliance.

Invitations are being sent to NWFA Member Manufacturers for a Hardwood Summit on December 9 & 10, 2008 in St. Louis to present full details of the NWFA RPP and to address industry issues.

The National Wood Flooring Association is a non-profit trade organization, with more than 4,000 members world-wide, dedicated to educating consumers, architects, designers, specifiers and builders in the uses and benefits of wood flooring. For more information, call (800) 422-4556, or visit www.nwfa.org.