The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) hosted a Wood Flooring Manufacturer’s Assembly in St. Louis at NWFA Headquarters on December 16 and 17. More than 50 manufacturer representatives were in attendance.
One of the
topics discussed was the NWFA Responsible Procurement Program (RPP). The goal of the RPP is to harness the power
of the United States
wood flooring industry to promote environmentally and socially responsible
forest management in the regions that supply the timber on which we all depend.
RPP provides progressive “tiers” in which participants gradually move toward
higher levels of social and environmental responsibility and performance.
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 and enables use of the NWFA Verified Legal Import label. Program participants have three years to
progress from Tier 1 to Tier 2.
recognizes companies that source their wood from Forest Stewardship Council
(FSC) certified forests and agree to increase their overall use of
FSC-certified wood during the next two years.
Importers 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.
at the Assembly included Deb Hawkinson, Executive
Director of the Hardwood Federation, who presented
information about the US Lacey Act amendment prohibiting illegal logging. Corey Brinkema, President of the Forest
Stewardship Council US,
presented information about the value of forest certification programs. Neil Mendenhall, Chain of Custody Natural
Resources Program Associate with Scientific Certification Systems, presented
information on the credibility of third-party auditing programs for the
RPP. Walter Smith, SmartWood Program
Training Manager with the Rainforest Alliance presented information about the
credibility of auditing programs for imported wood. Gary Gramp, Technical
Director with the Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association, presented information
about the California Air Resources Board legislation affecting VOC and
formaldehyde emissions within the state of California, which take effect on January
1. Other presentations were made by NWFA
Board members Don Finkell and Neil Poland.
result of the meeting, 14 manufacturer members have requested licensing
agreements to begin participating in the NWFA Responsible Procurement Program.