What Do FSC and USGBC Certified Suppliers Mean?
Many homeowners and business owners aim to reduce their carbon footprints and maintain eco-friendly homes. When remodeling your home or business, it’s important to consider where you’re getting your materials. Suppliers with FSC and USGBC accreditations can help you ensure your materials are eco-friendly. Learn why you want to choose FSU and USGBC certified suppliers for your next hardwood flooring job.
What Does an FSC Accreditation Mean?
When the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies any product, it means the manufacturer has met the FSC’s requirements for ethical production. The council grants its gold standard when a product gets manufactured from wood harvested from responsibly managed forests.
Forests only occupy 30% of our planet’s surface, and we’re constantly depleting those regions. However, an area that’s managed by a responsible steward ensures that trees get replaced as soon as they’re harvested. This helps to reduce the rate of depletion significantly.
The manufacturer’s label on hardwood flooring will tell you if the product is FSC-certified and to what degree. The Forest Stewardship Council uses three classifications:
- 100% – This includes wood entirely harvested from a protected forest.
- Recycled – Wood made with reclaimed and recycled materials is classified as recycled.
- Mixed – In a mixed product, 70% of the material comes from a protected forest or recycled material. The remaining 30% comes from forests controlled by other organizations.
You can easily tell which products the council has certified by reading the manufacturer’s label or asking your flooring supplier. An FSC stamp will indicate that a product meets the gold standard.
What is the USGBC Rating System?
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) established a system for rating materials’ environmental and human health impact in building construction and remodeling. This rating system is commonly referred to as LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The LEED® rating system applies to residential, commercial, and industrial structures.
Any material with a USGBC rating has achieved a minimum of 40 points in the rating system. The following categories differentiate the various rating levels:
- LEED® Certified: 40 to 49 points
- Silver: 50 to 59 points
- Gold: 60 to 79 points
- Platinum: 80 points and higher
Points get awarded based on a variety of categories. These include construction processes, the manufacturing of building supplies, and the efficiency of the fully constructed or remodeled structure. Factors that apply specifically to supplies, such as hardwood flooring, include sustainability, effects on air quality, and design efficiency.
Adhering to this system is entirely voluntary, which means each manufacturer will decide whether they will meet these standards. However, some cities are starting to require builders to adhere to USGBC standards to promote a greener construction industry.
Even so, you should read the label carefully on any flooring you intend to buy. If the product adheres to LEED® standards, a certification mark will appear on the label. Products that don’t indicate their LEED® rating are not compliant with this initiative.
We Are FSC & USGBC Certified Suppliers
Even if you’re not motivated to maintain an eco-friendly household, buying flooring that meets these restrictions can be beneficial. In addition to helping the environment, you can become proactive in meeting future regulations. It may not be long before states require builders to use these materials. Buying and installing them now can help you stay ahead of the curve.
You’ll also help yourself when you eventually sell your home. More buyers are looking for green homes, and that trend will likely continue well into the future. Eco-friendly materials attract potential buyers and can add value to your home.
Elite Hardwood Flooring is both FSC and USGBC Certified supplier. We are locally owned and operated in Maryland and can help with every stage of your flooring project, from design to installation. To learn more about using eco-friendly flooring materials in your home or business in the Mid-Atlantic region, contact us today.