Shaw Industries has announced that its hardwood division has earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody Certification, officially allowing Shaw to produce and market FSC certified products. FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote sound management of the world’s forests. The organization maintains an international certification system that identifies companies adhering to the highest levels of environmentally and socially responsible forest management.

The certification authorizes Shaw to manufacture, market and sell “FSC Certified” products and affiliate its hardwood division with the Forest Stewardship Council. In addition to the distinction of certification, FSC hardwood products are also eligible for Material & Resources (MR-7) credit for certified wood from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program.

In order to earn FSC Chain of Custody certification, Shaw was required to develop and implement procedures covering all elements of the FSC standards. Shaw retained Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) of California to audit the certification process. Shaw Harwood is now FSC-certified to purchase solid wood and veneers and certified to manufacture and distribute solid and engineered FSC hardwood flooring.

The FSC team has enacted ten Principles and 57 Criteria used to address a range of topics throughout the certification process, including:

· legal issues

· indigenous rights

· labor rights

· multiple benefits

· environmental impacts surrounding forest management

The certification of "100% FSC" means that every wooden component of the particular certified flooring product has been produced with FSC-certified wooden components. These wooden components have a traceable chain of custody all the way from a FSC-certified forest and only pass through the possession of FSC-certified manufacturers and distributors while on their way to the ultimate customer.

 “We’re extremely proud of our association with the Forest Stewardship Council which further establishes our commitment to sustainability,” said Scott Sandlin, vice president of Shaw Hard Surfaces. “With this assurance, our customers can remain confident that they are purchasing the most environmentally friendly hardwood products available. This important achievement is another building block of our comprehensive approach to innovation, which allows Shaw to continuously introduce the most beautiful and sustainable flooring products in the world.”

Shaw will be offering five top-selling hardwood styles in 100% FSC-certified products in a running-line collection this fall. Included in the collection are three smooth hickories in a light, medium, and dark stain; a rustic, hand-scraped hickory; and a traditional maple.

Additionally, since long lead times are often required to provide FSC-certified styles, this collection will make it easier for end-users to purchase sustainable hardwood for LEED projects.