First Ever Certified Sustainable Tile Products Unveiled

After 5 years developing an all-encompassing multi-attribute sustainability standard for tile and tile installation materials, the very first certified sustainable products are being announced.

Cumulatively, eight major manufacturers of tile and installation materials have hundreds of products that are already certified or will be certified by the start of Coverings on April 17, with yet even more of their products still in the evaluation process and expected to earn certification this year. At least six additional manufacturers have started the certification process for hundreds more products that are expected to be certified within the year.

According to Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America, “This early adoption, within just a few months of the passage of the Green Squaredsm ANSI standard, is a clear indication of the commitment North American manufacturers have made to sustainable manufacturing and sustainable products, in many cases starting years ago when conversations began regarding an industry standard for sustainability. Manufacturers looked at the breadth of their operations and made significant improvements to meet the multi-attribute criteria of the standard. They are to be congratulated for their willingness to do so, and their willingness to bring in outside certifiers to verify and substantiate their claims.”

Only those products independently evaluated and certified by a third party may bear the Green Squared Certified mark, making it easy for specifiers and consumers to select sustainable products and busustainable tile systems. Manufacturers with products already certified are Crossville, Ironrock, and Porcelanite Lamosa. Additionally, Daltile, Interceramic, Laticrete, Mapei, and Marazzi expect to receive notification of product certifications within the next two weeks.

Bonsal American, Florida Tile, Quarry Tile Company, StonePeak, TEC, and Vitromex expect to have Green Squared Certified products by year end.

Green Squared (ANSI A138.1) is the industry standard for sustainable tile and tile installation products. Because sustainability shouldn’t be defined by a single attribute, Green Squared takes a multi-attribute, balanced approach by establishing criteria for environmental and social issues alike. Covered by the standard are environmental product characteristics, environmental product manufacturing and raw material extraction, end of product life management, progressive corporate governance, and innovation.

To be in conformance with Green Squared, a product must meet all mandatory requirements and a specified number (depending on product type) of elective requirements, providing a total package that reflects the full range of environmental considerations.

Products covered by Green Squared include ceramic and glass tiles, grouts, mortars, trowelable membranes, polymer additives, backer boards, underlayments, and crack isolation and waterproof membranes. By seeking out Green Squared Certified products, specifiers can put together total sustainable systems when it comes to tile installations.

The ANSI A108 Accredited Standards Committee representing green building stakeholders, tile consumers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and many other relevant interests approved Green Squared at the end of 2011.

Currently, the approved third party Green Squared certifiers are NSF International, Scientific Certification Systems, and UL Environment. The certifiers conduct worldwide operations and are available to conduct Green Squared certifications wherever tile is manufactured.

For green news, links, and updates, please visit www.tilethenaturalchoice.com and follow @Green_Squared on Twitter.
For a high-resolution image of the Green Squared Certified logo or the Sustainability Criteria Chart for use with your news story, contact Andrew Whitmire ([email protected]).

Sustainable Tiles and Installation Material Manufacturers Can Now Earn Green Squared Certification through NSF International

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (February 9, 2012) – NSF International, an independent global organization that writes public health standards and certifies products for food, water and consumer goods, now offers Green SquaredSM Certification for sustainable ceramic tiles, glass tiles and installation materials. NSF’s Sustainability division is a leading developer of sustainable standards and certification programs for building and furnishing products such as furniture, wallcoverings, and furnishing fabrics, carpets and flooring.

Developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Green Squared certification provides accurate, third-party verified information on the environmental impacts of certified tile products. Green Squared certification through NSF Sustainability helps manufacturers and suppliers of tiles and installation materials distinguish their products from competitors, earn preferred vendor status by environmentally-minded consumers and companies, and demonstrate compliance to state and federal purchasing requirements.

The NSF certification process includes a comprehensive documentation review and onsite facility audit to verify conformance to the standard upon which the Green Squared certification program is based, ANSI A138.1 American National Standard Specifications for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles and Tile Installation Materials. This consensus-based standard requires an evaluation of products in five categories of performance: Product Characteristics, Manufacturing, Corporate Governance, Innovation, and End-of-Life.

“Green Squared provides a standard of excellence in sustainability for the entire industry as it covers not just tile products but also the materials required for their installation,” said Bill Griese, TCNA Standards Development and Green Initiative Manager. “We are pleased that the certification bodies we have participating in Green Squared are leaders in the realm of developing sustainability standards and certification programs for interior furnishing products, and these organizations have the expertise and industry experience necessary to provide high quality certifications under the Green Squared program.”

“Green Squared and NSF Sustainability certification programs are the most credible certifications available in the marketplace,” said NSF Sustainability Director Tom Bruursema. “Architects, designers and consumers can now easily identify products carrying the Green Squared and NSF Sustainability marks. NSF certified sustainable products such as furniture, carpets, flooring, wallcoverings, furnishing fabrics, and now tiles and tile installation materials, help companies and consumers meet their sustainability goals and demonstrate their commitment to the environment.”

Tiles covered by the Green Squared program may include mosaic, quarry, pressed floor, glazed wall, porcelain, specialty, cast glass, fused glass and low-temperature coated glass tiles. Installation materials may include mortar adhesives, mastic adhesives, reactive resin adhesives, grouts, tile backer units, crack isolation membranes, waterproofing membranes, water containment membranes and sound reduction membranes.

For additional information on Green Squared contact Dennis Gillan at 734.476.2543, [email protected] or visit nsfsustainability.org.

The Green Tip

Once considered the “green standard” of the sustainability movement, recycling has become such a common practice that it is essentially considered standard operating procedure. While the importance of recycling should not be minimized, businesses and individuals committed to a more sustainable future are moving beyond recycling to embrace the zero waste movement. In the zero waste movement, waste is not only recycled, but virtually eliminated through more efficient processes and introducing materials back into the marketplace in a usable form in addition to conventional recycling.

In addition to zero waste processes, many organizations now strive to be net consumers of waste, meaning, they consume more waste than they produce. They do this by introducing waste generated by other industries into their own processes and therefore diverting them from landfill.

As zero waste and net consumption of waste become increasingly mainstream, environmentally-minded designers and consumers alike will begin to make product and installation choices based on which organizations incorporate these processes into their sustainable initiatives. To learn more about applying the principles of zero waste, visit the following resources:

  • www.zerowasteamerica.org/
  • www.zerowaste.com
  • http://myzerowaste.com
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