NSF Sustainability certification helps buyers identify environmentally preferable wallcoverings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — NSF Sustainability, a division of the global public health organization NSF International, has certified nearly 900 wallcovering styles to the American National Standard for Sustainable Wallcoverings – NSF/ANSI 342.   Developed by NSF International and the Wallcovering Association, the standard for sustainable wallcoverings helps architects, designers, retailers and consumers identify sustainable and environmentally preferable wallcoverings.

The following wallcovering manufacturers have qualified under the NSF International standard and have products certified to the standard:

  • J. Josephson, Inc. (Recently Certified)
  • LSI Wallcovering
  • RJF International Corporation (Recently Certified)
  • York Wallcoverings, Inc.

Additionally, the number of companies qualified to distribute NSF/ANSI 342 certified wallcoverings has grown.  All seven qualified companies listed below distribute NSF certified sustainable wallcoverings for one or more of the manufacturers:

  • Colour & Design, Inc.
  • D.L. Couch Wallcovering Inc.
  • MDC
  • Levey Industries
  • National Wallcovering
  • RJF International Corporation - Koroseal Interior Products Group (Recently Certified)
  • TRI-KES

NSF/ANSI sustainability assessment standards are recognized by companies, organizations and governments as credible tools for identifying and specifying more sustainable products. For example, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) through Executive Order 13514 has set a goal to ensure 95 percent of all new contracts require products and services with more sustainable attributes (e.g. energy and water efficient, recycled, etc.), many of which are identified as criteria in NSF/ANSI 342.

“NSF/ANSI sustainable wallcovering certification gives architects and designers a way to identify and select sustainable products while also providing manufacturers and distributors the framework they need to produce more sustainable products and operations over time. It also favorably positions companies who choose to self regulate ahead of the competition, making them more attractive to organizations adopting sustainability purchasing practices like the U.S. General Services Administration,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division.

How the Sustainable Wallcovering Certification Program Works

Similar to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for buildings, NSF’s Sustainable Wallcovering Standard (NSF/ANSI 342) assigns point values in a number of categories. Unique to this standard is the requirement to combine points from both the manufacturer and distributor to determine the product certification level as Conformant, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Each organization is responsible for its own rating and applies for certification individually.

Under this standard manufacturers and distributors undergo a comprehensive and independent NSF assessment that evaluates the environmental and social impacts of their operations.  Those manufacturers and distributors meeting the requirements of the standard are designated “qualified” to NSF/ANSI 342, and they can display the NSF/ANSI 342 Qualified mark.

Products made by a qualified manufacturer and sold by a qualified distributor are certified to NSF/ANSI 342 at a level equal to the combined point totals of both organizations.  Certified products earn the use of the NSF Sustainability Certified mark on product packaging and marketing materials, a signal to buyers and consumers of the products’ sustainability.

How the Sustainable Wallcovering Standard Was Developed

Manufacturers and distributors of wallcoverings worked to formalize best practices into an official wallcoverings standard. This effort was spearheaded by the Wallcoverings Association and developed through the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS). The NCSS utilized an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited consensus-based process, which included balanced input from a joint committee of users, regulatory agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, wallcovering manufacturers, distributors and academics. The NCSS has developed sustainability standards through this consensus-based process for a wide range of product categories, including chemicals, commercial furnishings, flooring, building products and materials, and water treatment and distribution systems.

For more information on the NSF/ANSI 342 Sustainable Wallcoverings Certification Program, contact Dennis Gillan at sustainability@nsf.org or 734.476.2543. For information on the development of NSF/ANSI 342, visit nsfsustainability.org.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with NSF Sustainability General Manager Tom Bruursema, contact Greta Houlahan at media@nsf.org or 734.913.5723.

About NSF International:  NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide.

NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assessment and certification, testing advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains.

About the Wallcoverings Association (WA): WA is a member-based, not-for-profit organization, focused on the manufacturing, distributing and over-all sales within the wallcoverings industry. For further information on the association, contact WA Headquarters at 312.321.5166 or info@wallcoverings.org, or visit www.wallcoverings.org.