Specifier Review

Worldwide award to Formica Group of prestigious GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification for Low-Emitting Products

In this significant announcement, Formica Group has ensured that its products manufactured worldwide have achieved GREENGUARD Certification. Subtle differences in manufacturing process and variations in supply chain often exist from one manufacturing facility to another, which can affect the emissions levels of products manufactured at different locations. This is why it is so significant that Formica Group has tested and certified products from each of its plants.

Formica® products are now therefore entitled to carry the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® and/or GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified® marks, which signify that products contribute minimally to chemical emissions and help create healthier indoor environments.

The GREENGUARD Certification has been achieved for products manufactured at all ten Formica Group plants: St Jean, Canada; QingPu, China; Kolho, Finland; Bilbao and Valencia, Spain; HsignFeng, Taiwan; Bangkok, Thailand; Newton Aycliffe and North Shields, UK; and Evendale, USA.

Achieving certifications internationally assures architects, designers, specifiers and other purchasers, wherever they are located, that Formica products are healthy options for workplace or domestic environments and for child-friendly environments as well.

“This achievement demonstrates Formica Group’s commitment to health and sustainability, by ensuring their laminate products, manufactured at locations around the world, all meet the rigorous chemical emissions standards put forth in the GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM,” said Henning Bloech, executive director of GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI).

To achieve certification a manufacturer must undergo a thorough material, product and manufacturing review. This five-phase process includes initial testing, a manufacturing review and profile study, certification testing, and finally, being awarded GREENGUARD Certification. Critically, the final phase is ongoing and requires quarterly and yearly re-testing of a randomly selected material or component from each certification category to maintain the GREENGUARD Certification. All test methods and procedures comply with applicable global ISO standards.

“The Certification process was a big undertaking across ten manufacturing sites worldwide but an important one in terms of its achievement and our ongoing commitment to this process,” said Gavin Todd, Group Development Manager for Sustainability, Formica Group. “Architects, designers and developers are demanding that manufacturers demonstrate the environmental credentials of the products they specify. By assessing the environmental impact of products, we are increasing our contribution to our clients’ green building objectives.”

According to GEI, there are numerous sources of indoor air pollutants, which are potentially harmful. One of the most significant sources are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by products and materials, such as furniture, flooring, insulation, paints, as well as the products and processes used to clean and maintain them. These VOCs can trigger health problems, both in the short-and-long-term. Therefore implementing pollutant source control strategies, such as selecting low-emitting products, is the best way to improve indoor air quality.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

  • GREENGUARD Certification is also significant given the increase in green building codes and building programmes such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System. GREENGUARD Certification meets and exceeds the emissions requirements set out in LEED for interior products and helps ensure that spaces can meet the total volatile organic compound (TVOC) limit identified in Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Credit 3.2.

The Formica Group has announced that products from its ten international manufacturing sites have achieved GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification and/or GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification, the premier marks for low-emitting products. Formica® Laminate and DecoMetal® by Formica Group products have achieved GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification.

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