Sustainability Standard: NSF 342

Sustainability Standard Overview

Specifying third-party certified, sustainable wallcoverings is easier with the WA Sustainability Standard NSF/ANSI 342 - the first standard of its kind. It was designed to give us all peace-of-mind by ensuring transparency across a product’s entire life-cycle to help you make informed decisions.

The NSF/ANSI 342 sustainability assessment for wallcovering products is the foremost standard for evaluating and certifying the sustainability of wallcovering products across their entire product life cycle.  

This national standard was developed by NSF through a consensus-based, public process using a multi-stakeholder group of manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, customers, end-users, academia, and other industry participants. It establishes a consistent approach to the evaluation and determination of environmentally preferable and sustainable wallcovering manufacturing and distribution processes. This multi-attribute standard includes relevant criteria across the product life cycle, from raw material extraction through manufacturing, distribution, use and end-of-life management. 

 

The Sustainability Story

In 2008, the Wallcoverings Association (WA) set out to create a standard that would promote transparency and drive continual improvement in environmental sustainability, as well as social responsibility. The result of this four year journey is the WA Sustainability Standard NSF/ANSI 342, a truly unique and comprehensive standard. 

The WA Sustainability Standard was developed through a third party (ANSI) process with industry, user groups, and public health representatives involved in the standard writing process.  WA partnered with NSF to complete the project. NSF is an accredited third-party certification body, which tests and certifies products to verify they meet the established standard.  Products that meet these standards bear the NSF Mark, which is respected internationally.

NSF/ANSI 342 evaluates all types of wallcovering products across the entire life cycle of the product, from raw material extraction through end of life disposal. The standard allows for transparency into the performance of individual products, their manufacturers and their distributors.  It establishes a consistent and comprehensive approach to the evaluation of environmentally preferable and sustainable wallcoverings. 

Both the manufacturer and the distributor must qualify for the standard in order to bring a certified product to market. Each party may gain points in each of the established six categories. The total points gained by each determine if the product certifies and to what level. Products are certified as Platinum, Gold, Silver or Compliant.
  
This intensive multi-tier joint certification process encourages manufactures and distributors to collaborate in order to drive continual improvement of their environmental performance and recognizes the exemplary performance of companies that are committed to sustainable practices. The standard was the first to encompass the full chain of distribution in the evaluation of a product and now serves as a model for other standards.
 
The new WA Sustainability Standard NSF/ANSI 342 allows specifiers to quickly and easily identify wallcoverings that are certified to reduce environmental impact and make an informed decision.

 

How Does the Standard Work?

Based on life-cycle assessment principles, NSF/ANSI 342 employs an easy-to-use point system to evaluate wallcovering products against established requirements, performance criteria and quantifiable metrics in six key areas:

  • Product Design
  • Product Manufacturing
  • Long-Term Value
  • End-of-Life Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Innovation

Certification is based on point totals to achieve a Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum level. Manufacturers certified by NSF are authorized to use the NSF Sustainability Certified Mark on their products and in their advertising.

The WA NSF/ANSI 342 standard evaluates all types of wallcovering products across the entire life cycle from raw material extraction through end of life disposal. The standard allows for transparency into the performance of individual products, their manufacturers and their distributors. It establishes a consistent and comprehensive approach to the evaluation of environmentally preferable and sustainable wallcoverings. This tool will help easily identify wallcoverings that reduce the impact on our environment and help you to make an informed decision in your next project.

 

The Value of Wallcoverings & NSF 342

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