Eco-Certfied Composites

Sustainable to the Core

Eco-Certified™ Composites (ECC) are among the greenest on the earth. The ECC sustainability standard is a voluntary industry certification developed and administered by the Composite Panel Association (CPA) for manufacturers of composite wood or agrifiber-based panels, including particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), hardboard, engineered wood siding, and engineered wood trim.

ECC Certification is available to individual manufacturing plants and is based on life cycle inventory and other verifiable environmentally responsible practices. The certification process includes an on-site evaluation and subsequent yearly audits. CPA’s proprietary Carbon Calculator, developed by a third-party expert, is used to assess the life cycle and carbon footprint of composite panels made at a particular manufacturing plant.

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Composite panels that carry the ECC seal are manufactured in facilities that are certified to meet rigorous environmental requirements utilizing objective-based criteria and annual onsite audits. The standard specifies that three or more of the following requirements are verified:

  • Carbon Sink / Net Carbon Storage
  • Locally-Sourced Wood Fiber
  • Recycled / Recovered Wood Fiber
  • Over 97% of Wood Raw Material Utilized
  • Valid Wood Sourcing Certification

EPA & CARB Certified

An ECC-certified facility must ensure that 100% of its production meets the U.S. EPA TSCA Title VI and California Air Resources Board (CARB) ATCM 93120 formaldehyde emissions requirements for 100% of its panels 100% of the time. ECC-certified mills are not permitted to sell products that exceed EPA and CARB emission requirements in any market, even if panels are sold in countries where these regulations do not apply.

ECC certified plants must comply with CARB and EPA formaldehyde emissions requirements for 100% of their panels 100% of the time, and also meet at least three of the additional following requirements.

Carbon Footprint Standards

Using CPA’s proprietary Carbon Calculator, the plant must demonstrate that the panels they produce act as carbon sinks—that is, that they store enough carbon to offset their cradle-to-gate carbon footprint, as determined in kg-CO2 equivalents of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Local and Renewable Resources Sourcing

At least 85 percent of the total wood fiber used annually must be sourced within 250 miles (402 km) of the manufacturing plant.

Recycled/Recovered Materials MeasurementsProducts must contain either a minimum of 75% recycled or recovered fiber OR at least 50% recycled or recovered fiber AND a minimum of 5% post-consumer fiber. Percentages calculated by weight (bone dry tons (bdt))
Sustainability EvidenceThe plant must have documentation to show that more than 97% of fiber furnish brought on-site is either converted into composite panels or other non-waste products.

Other Certification(s)

The plant shall hold a valid certificate from a certifying agency recognized by CPA such as the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC—Controlled Wood Standard or Chain of Custody Standard) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI—Fiber Sourcing Standard).

ECC Helps Earn LEED & Other Green Building Credits​

Panels from ECC mills may help achieve green building credits, including LEED credits in eight material and resources (MR) categories and one environmental quality (EQ) category.

Find ECC-certified companies through our Product Finder

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