In an effort to encourage the use of sustainable materials and reduce the environmental impact caused by the manufacturing of these floor coverings, two members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) spearheaded the publication of a new standard, NSF/ANSI 140-2007, Sustainable Carpet Assessment.

The New Carpet Colors Now Available: Silver, Gold, and Platinum
NSF/ANSI 140-2007 follows an evaluation methodology that is complementary to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systems for high-performance green buildings.

As in the LEED system, the new standard specifies three certification levels—silver, gold, and platinum—that are awarded on a points-earned basis to manufacturers. Points can be earned by:
• Minimizing the use of pollutants;
• Using renewable energy and implementing energy conservation measures;
• Using bio-based materials, renewable agricultural materials, or recycled materials;
• Minimizing the generation of waste materials during production; and
• Adhering to the Memorandum of Understanding for Carpet Stewardship which states that by 2012, at least 40 percent of the total amount of carpet produced will be diverted from landfills. 

Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) teamed with NSF International, an ANSI accredited standards developer, to design a certification system for sustainable carpeting. End users, architects, government officials, academics, and manufacturers weighed in on the new standard, which measures the environmental footprint of carpet products in five major performance categories:
• Public health and environment (PHE)
• Energy and energy efficiency (EN)
• Bio-based, recycled content materials (MATLS), or environmentally preferable materials
• Manufacturing (MFG)
• Reclamation and end of life management (EOL)
• Developed over a nearly five-year process, the new standard applies to carpets for all types of buildings, including commercial office, education, government, healthcare, and hospitality.

Based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) principles, NSF/ANSI 140-2007 seeks to educate and engage the entire supply chain, encouraging the transition of the carpet industry toward more sustainable practices.

“We expect this highly anticipated standard will be widely adopted and referenced across building design, construction and operation industries as the standard of choice for green carpet,” said Jane Wilson, NSF standards director. “It is already serving as a model for other industry groups to follow.”

The first carpet products to be certified by the new standard are expected to be available in April 2008.