Green Flooring Terms

American Tree Farm System (ATFS) A program of the American Forest Foundation that certifies hardwood flooring as eco-friendly.

Carbon Footprint A measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, including domestic energy consumption and transportation, added to the indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use.

Eco-friendly Refers to goods and services that do little to no harm to our environment.

Energy Star Rating A rating system designed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Education to identify products that can cost-effectively improve one’s energy efficiency and pollution reduction. These ratings play an influential role in expanding the market for energy efficient and reduced pollution products.

Floor Score Program Certification developed in conjunction with the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) specifically for hard surface flooring and flooring adhesives that meet California’s VOC requirements.

FSC Certified Wood products bearing the Forest Stewardship Council logo guarantees that they are from a certified well-managed forest. These products are available around the world from a variety of mills, manufacturers and distributors.

Global Warming Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil — and by clearing forests, we increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Temperatures are rising.

Green Label and Green Label Plus The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) certifies carpeting and installation products that are low VOC emitting.

Greenhouse Gases Those gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFCs that absorb solar energy and reradiate it to the earth. Too many of these gases in the atmosphere can cause climate change.

Greenwashing Describes the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council, is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Buildings of any sort can be graded and certified as LEED green.

NSF-140 Is the first multi-attribute American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for environmentally preferable building materials in the construction industry as requested by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). It defines sustainable carpeting.

NWFA Responsible Procurement Program (RPP) The goal of the NWFA Responsible Procurement Program (RPP) is to harness the power of the U.S. wood flooring industry to recognize and promote environmentally and socially responsible forest management in the regions that supply timber.  The NWFA RPP provides progressive “tiers” in which participants gradually move toward higher levels of social and environmental responsibility and performance.

National Green Building Standard According to the National Association of Homebuilders, this document defines green building for single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects and site development projects while still allowing for the flexibility required for regionally appropriate best green practices.

Post Consumer Waste The garbage that individuals routinely generate by living their lives. Think packaging, food scraps, old clothes, leftover building materials, leftover chemicals and cleaners — all of which can be recycled.

Regreen The American Society of Interior Designers’ Foundation and the U.S. Green Building Council partnered to develop best practice guidelines and targeted educational resources for sustainable residential improvement or remodel projects. These guidelines are available at http://www.greenhomeguide.org.

Recycled Content Indicates that at least some portion of the materials used in making the product have been pulled out of the waste bin. Does not necessarily mean that the product can be recycled.

Renewable Resource A naturally occurring material that is replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable to or faster than its rate of consumption. Bamboo, cork, some woods and grasses fall into this category.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) A leading third-party provider of certification, recognizing the highest levels of performance in food safety and quality, environmental protection and social responsibility in the private and public sectors.

SMART Standard Certification Identifies flooring materials and products that achieve a variety of specified performance-based sustainability criteria.

Sustainable Design Designing physical objects and the built environment to comply with the principles of economic, social and ecological sustainability. The goal is to reduce use of non-renewable resources, minimize environmental impact and relate people with the natural environment. (Also known as "green design,” "eco-design,” or "design for environment.")

Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) This label is a sign that you are buying wood and paper products from well-managed forests. Members apply responsible environmental behavior and sound business practices to sustainable forestry.