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ANSI approves resilient sustainability standard; NSF-332 now national specification

ANN ARBOR, MICH.—NSF International, the non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that drafted NSF 140-2007: the Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard, has developed a similar standard for resilient flooring. At the end of April, NSF American National Standard 332: Sustainability Assessment Standard for Resilient Floor Coverings was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

“Certification to ANSI/NSF 332 offers buyers of resilient flooring the highest level of confidence and credibility in a market that is awash in green claims,” said Jane Wilson, director of standards, NSF International. “The goal of this standard is to improve the sustainability profile of resilient floor covering and enable the industry to achieve higher levels of sustainable manufacturing in the future.”

Similar to NSF-140, she said the standard for resilient flooring designed framework to compare and assess the sustainability of various elements in manufacturer’s products and practices. It relates particularly to environmental, economic and social applications of stewardship throughout the supply chain; conformance with ISO Type 1 (14024) and Type 2 (14021) environmental labeling and declaration requirements; compliance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for environmental marketing claims, and generates confidence in stakeholders throughout the supply process. The standard can apply to one of or all of a mill’s facilities, in the country or abroad.

ANSI/NSF 332 certifies sustainable features of various types of resilient floor covering including vinyl composition tile, sheet vinyl flooring, vinyl tile, rubber sheet flooring, rubber tile, linoleum sheet flooring, linoleum tile, polymeric flooring, resilient wall base and resilient stair treads.

Certification criteria vary from NSF-140, the industry’s first sustainability measure from the association. ANSI/ NSF 332 looks at:

  1. product design
  2. manufacturing practices
  3. long-term value
  4. corporate governance
  5. innovation

Based on these areas, manufacturers are awarded points in one of four levels: conformant, silver, gold and platinum. Conformant-grade certification awards entry-level efforts, whereas platinum certification meets the most stringent criteria.

“We believe ANSI/NSF 332 will promote the greater use of sustainability practices in the manufacture of resilient flooring while also bringing more transparency and clarity to the sustainability process,” said Dean Thompson, president of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI).

Though NSF led the standard’s development process, RCFI was very involved, as were flooring manufacturers, architects, academics, environmental program managers, state and federal agencies responsible for procurement practices, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ISO 14000, an internationally-recognized management system that looks at life cycle assessment (LCA) was used as a base for consensus, and was opened to public comment and voting for two years before ratification this spring.

For more information about the ANSI/NSF 332 standard, call 800.673.6275.

-Emily Hooper