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.
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.
At least 85 percent of the total wood fiber used annually must be sourced within 250 miles (402 km) of the manufacturing plant.
Products must contain either:
Percentages shall be calculated by weight, as measured in bone dry tons (bdt).
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.
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 certified mills are required to meet CARB and EPA formaldehyde emissions requirements for 100% of their panels 100% of the time. The standard specifies carbon footprint, life-cycle inventory, and other verifiable environmental practices and emphasizes the responsible use of wood fiber by composite panel manufacturers.
Look for the ECC-certified logo and/or other identifying mark on packaging, panel unit bundles, commercial documents, or other informational materials when purchasing composite panels.
Architects, specifiers, and designers looking for products that demonstrate a high level of sustainability and help qualify for green building credits should choose Eco-Certified Composites. ECC certification makes it simple to specify earth-friendly building materials in your projects.
For more information about the ECC Sustainability Standard contact Ed Deomano.