Thursday, January 27, 2011

US EPA Green Office tips

The US EPA has a nice article on greening your business life here.

Our fave point is number 5:

"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycle office paper, newspapers, beverage containers, electronic equipment and batteries. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your office helps conserve energy, and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal. You can reduce, reuse and recycle at the office by using two-sided printing and copying; buying supplies made with recycled content; and recycling used printer cartridges. For your old electronics, investigate leasing programs to ensure reuse and recycling or donate used equipment to schools or other organizations."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Clean Win for Mondo: GREENGUARD Children & Schools and Indoor Air Quality certification

Great news for Mondo!

GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) has awarded Mondo rubber flooring GREENGUARD Children & Schools SM Certification, and these rubber flooring products are also now GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified.

Mondo is now Greenguard children and schools (C&S) certified on all products. The C&S certification comply with the state of California’s department of Public Health Section CA01350 -- and the products can now be used to earn credits in the CHPS for K12 schools and LEED.


Made of 100% non-regenerated synthetic calendered, vulcanized, and stabilized rubber, Mondo products are available in a wide range of colors and may be embossed, matte, anti-glare, and / or heat sealed for hygiene. These rubber flooring products are EN 1817 compliant and bring comfort, stability, noise reduction, slip resistance, wear resistance, abrasion resistance, and chemical resistance to your facility.

Mondo rubber floors are antimicrobial, antibacterial, and now Green Guard certified!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Possible upcoming tariff on Chinese engineered floors

From Hardwood Floors E-News: December 3, 2010, China tariff issues to be aware of:

Preliminary Investigation Affirms Chinese Dumping Allegations

The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a unanimous affirmative determination in its preliminary investigation into allegations of dumping of engineered flooring by Chinese manufacturers. The commission, an independent federal agency, determined that there is "a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of multilayered wood flooring from China that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value."

As a result of the vote, the U.S. Department of Commerce will conduct a detailed investigation into the pricing practices of Chinese engineered wood flooring manufacturers and exporters, as well as subsidies provided to those companies. Its preliminary countervailing duty determination is due on or about Jan. 14, 2011, and its preliminary antidumping duty determination is due on or about March 30, 2011.

"The fact that today's vote was unanimous, we believe, is a reflection of the weight of the extensive evidence reviewed by the commission, and the seriousness with which the agency viewed the concerns detailed by the domestic industry," said Jeff Levin, counsel for the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity, which filed a petition for the investigation in late October. The coalition consists of Anderson Hardwood Floors LLC, Award Hardwood Floors, Baker's Creek Wood Floors Inc., From the Forest, Howell Hardwood Flooring, Mannington Mills Inc., Nydree Flooring, Forest, and Shaw Industries Group Inc.


Copies of the report from the ITC are expected to be available after Jan. 3, 2011, by e-mailing pubrequest@usitc.gov, calling 202/205-2000, or writing to the Office of the Secretary, 500 E St. S.W., Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202/205-2104. The press release from the ITC is available here.

In other related news, there is a possibility of import duty on imported Chinese engineered flooring:

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on Nov. 10 initiated antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations of engineered wood flooring exported from China and imported to the U.S., according to a department release.


On Oct. 21 the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity (CAHP), an ad hoc group of U.S. engineered wood flooring manufacturers, petitioned the Commerce Department to initiate the investigation. The group alleges that companies that manufacture engineered wood flooring in China dumped products in the U.S. at margins of 194.49 to 280.6 percent.

...


This "dumping margin" is the amount by which a product's normal market value exceeds the export price. Citing a study by Catalina Research Inc. (Boca Raton, Fla.), DOC said imports of engineered wood flooring from China increased 76 percent by quantity from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, imports of multilayered wood flooring were valued at an estimated $119.7 million.


An antidumping investigation hinges on determining whether an imported product is being sold by a foreign manufacturer into the U.S. market at less than fair value; a countervailing duty investigation determines whether a foreign manufacturer is gaining an unfair competitive advantage through government subsidies. Both DOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) play roles in the investigations. ITC expects to make preliminary determinations on both investigations around Dec. 6. If ITC finds no reason to carry on the investigation during this preliminary determination, the investigations will be terminated.

We'll keep an eye on this story.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Good green news from Europe

A good bit of green carpet news from Europe, reported in the excellent info resource fibre2fashion.com:

The carpet industry could soon benefit from 100% recycled carpet yarns and backings thanks to a new strategic partnership between two leading manufacturers.

Aquafil, a European market leader in carpet yarn manufacturing, textile yarn production and polymer engineering and Colbond, the global leading producer and supplier of nonwoven primary carpet backings, announced the formation of a strategic partnership that will enhance the environmental sustainability of the carpet industry. Colbond will use Aquafil’s Econyl, post-industrial and post-consumer recycled polyamide-6, to extend its range of environmentally friendly carpet backings. A substantial and growing part of Econyl is generated from carpet waste.

Aquafil is a pioneer in the recycling of polyamide-6 waste and has invested significant funds in the development of dedicated industrial plants. With its “Econyl” process, the company has closed the loop of carpet waste recovery by using carpet yarn as the primary raw material for polyamide and finished BCF (bulked continuous filament) yarn.

Colbond launched the industry’s first nonwoven carpet backing made of post-consumer recycled polyester in 2007 and is continually seeking for new opportunities to further improve the sustainability of its processes and products. Following intense joint Research & Development work, Colbond will be producing its new environmentally sustainable nonwovens containing recycled polyamide-6 (rPA-6) derived exclusively from Aquafil’s “Econyl” process. Branded “Colback Green”, these innovative backings comprise bi-component filaments with a post-consumer recycled bottle scrap PET core and an Econyl rPA-6 skin.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The largest recycling facility in North America: phase one complete

A great story from Floor Covering News:

Eighteen months after Shaw Industries and DAK Americas announced the creation of a joint venture company, Clear Path Recycling (CPR), to recycle post-consumer plastic drinking bottles, executives of the three companies gathered to cut the ribbon of the completion of phase one on what will eventually become the largest recycling facility in North America.

Ron Salati, CPR’s vice president of administration and commercial sales, called the official start-up a “milestone. Four years ago [Shaw] issued a challenge to DAK to create a way to feed Shaw. What you see before you is the result of a great deal of hard work and dedication of our parent companies in their sustainability initiatives of reducing environmental impact while creating a viable product for use in their product offerings.”

Read the whole article here.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More green healthcare news

Great news from Florida:
St. Joseph's Hospital-North in Lutz, FLA recently achieved LEED® Certified, making it the first acute care hospital in Florida and among the first in the nation to achieve LEED certification.

The hospital was designed with an environmentally sustainable philosophy to create a landscape of open space, providing habitat for wildlife and natural views for patients.

The environmentally friendly building is made of materials that support energy conservation and clean air with low chemical emissions and recycled content. The soothing elements of the outdoors are brought indoors creating a calm, peaceful, healing environment for patients.

"Research shows environmentally sustainable buildings contribute to improved health, so having a green hospital helps St. Joseph's achieve its vision of creating a healthy environment for the community it serves," said Colleen Mackin, executive Director, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

St. Joseph's Hospital-North concentrated on key categories to achieve green building certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC provides third-party verification that buildings are designed and constructed using strategies aimed at improving performance in energy and water efficiency, emissions, indoor environmental quality and materials and resources.

Energy saving strategies include individual controls for lighting and heating to promote productivity, comfort and well-being of building occupants. High-efficiency systems that reduce energy consumption will use 12 percent less energy than a standard building. Refrigerants were selected to minimize the impact on ozone depletion and global warming.

"Buildings are one of the largest consumers of resources and energy in this country," said Paula McGuiness, chief operating officer of St. Joseph's Hospital-North. "St. Joseph's Hospitals and BayCare Health System believe in being leaders of environmental stewardship, innovation and corporate responsibility."

Other examples of consideration for the environment include:

  • Preferred parking for low-emission and fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • A roofing system that helps reduce the heat effect and keep temperatures cooler.
  • Low-flow water fixtures that use 20 percent less water than standard buildings.
  • Landscape that is maintained with 100 percent reclaimed water from retention ponds.
  • Use of low-emission paints, adhesives, sealants, fabrics and carpets inside of the building which provide cleaner air to breathe.
  • Use of construction materials from local sources, which supports the regional economy and reduces environmental impacts from transportation.

Green Healthcare: rubber flooring


A great article from Canadian Facility Management magazine about, among other green features, using rubber flooring in healthcare environments.