The first U. S. national sustainability standard for carpet products was introduced in 2007 at the Greenbuild 2007 show. Known as NSF/ANSI 140 - Sustainability Assessment for Carpet, this American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standard is primarily intended for evaluation of commercial carpet products including commercial office, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, etc., as it provides a product evaluation methodology that is complementary to emerging commercial green building standards.
Like most ANSI-approved standards, the sustainable carpet standard is voluntary. Based on life cycle assessment (LCA) principles, it offers three levels of achievement for attaining various levels of reduced environmental impact (silver, gold, and platinum). By defining environmental, social, and economic performance requirements, the standard provides benchmarks for continual improvement and innovation within the building industry. Certification is achieved on a point-based evaluation system through five different categories. The new standard takes into account sustainability issues as it relates to manufacturing processes; reclamation and end-of-life management; energy usage and energy efficiency; the use of bio-based, recycled, or environmentally preferable materials; and steps an organization takes to minimize adverse public health, environment, and community impacts.
If your company is looking for green building alternatives, be sure to ask them to consider using sustainable carpeting that is certified to NSF/ANSI 140.