Virginia-based Composite Panel Assn. launches more stringent voluntary sustainability standards for members; Eco-Certified Composite Standard will replace Environmentally Preferable Product certification program

LOS ANGELES , February 24, 2012 () –

The Leesburg, Virginia-based Composite Panel Association (CPA) has launched a more rigorous voluntary program to certify sustainability for members' products, to succeed the program the association established in 2002, Building Products reported Feb. 15.

The CPA said the Eco-Certified Composite Standard (ECC) replaces the group's Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) certification program. EPP, established in 2002, is slated to sunset March 31.

The first products certified under ECC came to market in recent months, Building Products reported. ECC standards apply to composite wood panels and finished products made with particleboard, MDF, hardboard and engineered wood siding and trim.

CPA grants an ECC certification to individual manufacturing facilities, which must pass yearly CPA on-site audits.

Composite panel products are required to meet the formaldehyde emissions standards of the California Air Resources Board, Building Products noted.

The manufacturing facilities are also audited for carbon footprint, use of local renewable resources, use of recycled or recovered fiber, sustainability in terms of using almost all the fiber, wood sourcing and chain of custody.

Each facility is required to use the CPA Carbon Calculator to determine its overall net carbon storage. It must also source at least 85% of wood fiber within 250 miles of the panel facility, reported Building Products.

A facility is required to use at least 75% recycled or recovered wood fiber, or half recycled or recovered wood fiber plus at least 5% post-consumer wood fiber. Under sustainability criteria, at least 97% of wood fiber is to be converted to panels or re-utilized as a valued product.

Facilities are also required to meet Forest Stewardship Certification or Sustainainble Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards for wood sourcing.

The primary source of this article is Building Products, Newport Beach, California, Feb. 15, 2012.

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