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The Eco-Certified Composite Sustainability Standard

Our commitment to environmental stewardship applies to indoor environments as well as to the great outdoors.

The Eco-Certified Composite (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.

Qualified plants must then meet at least three of the additional requirements below:

Carbon Footprint

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.

Use of Local and Renewable Resources

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

Made from Recycled/Recovered Materials

Products must contain either:

  1. A minimum of 75 percent recycled or recovered fiber; OR
  2. At least 50 percent recycled or recovered fiber AND a minimum of 5 percent post-consumer fiber.

Percentages shall be calculated by weight, as measured in bone dry tons (bdt).

Sustainability

The plant must have documentation to show that more than 97 percent of fiber furnish brought on-site is either converted into composite panels or other non-waste products.

Wood Sourcing

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).

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