THE ECC SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD
The Eco-Certified Composite (ECC) Sustainability Standard is the voluntary industry standard developed by the Composite Panel Association (CPA) for manufacturers of composite wood or agrifiber-based panels made with particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), hardboard, engineered wood siding and engineered wood trim. The standard focuses on life cycle inventory and other verifiable environmental practices and highlights the responsible use of wood fiber by composite panel manufacturers. The basis of the standard includes the CPA Carbon Calculator, a tool developed by a third party expert to assess the life cycle and carbon footprint of composite panels made at a particular manufacturing plant.
ECC REPLACES EPP
The ECC Sustainability Standard is the more rigorous successor to CPA’s Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) specification and voluntary certification program, established in 2002. The EPP certification for unfinished panels was sunset on March 31, 2012.
COMPOSITE WOOD PANELS—GREEN BY NATURE
The North American composite panel industry is predicated on the optimal use of forestry byproducts and residuals — turning this recycled and reclaimed material into higher value products so it’s not wasted. By their very nature, composite wood panels—along with agrifiber-based panels—are among the greenest products available for architectural, construction and consumer products. Architects, designers, retailers and consumers expect verifiable evidence of greenness, and the ECC Sustainability Standard and Certification Program delivers that assurance. Only products carrying the ECC-certified logo and/or other identifying mark are produced in a manufacturing plant or facility that is audited and certified by CPA.
ECC CERTIFICATION FOR COMPOSITE PANELS
ECC Certification is available to individual manufacturing plants and requires an on-site qualification audit and subsequent annual audits. Unfinished composite panel products must first comply with the stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde emissions regulation before being considered for other ECC criteria. Qualified plants must then meet at least three of the following requirements:
Non-wood fiber is defined as a by-product of an agricultural crop where the cellulose is other than woody biomass and may also be considered to meet the requirements above.
GO GREEN AND GET CREDIT
ECC Panel Products may help achieve LEED credit for:
The ECC Certification program is the successor to the most widely specified environmental certification program for composite wood products in the world—CPA’s Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) Certification Program, the first such program accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Similarly, CPA will administer the ECC Certification Program as a third party certification agency accredited to ISO/IEC Guide 65 by ANSI.
ECC certification and audits are conducted by experience professionals based on ISO/IEC 17065 and ISO/IEC 17020 standards. CPA is accredited by ANSI and ANAB as a certification and inspection body, respectively.
Look for the ECC-certified logo and/or other identifying mark on packaging, panel unit bundles, commercial documents, or other informational materials when purchasing composite panels.
COMPOSITE PANEL ASSOCIATION
The Composite Panel Association (CPA), a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization founded in 1960, represents the North American composite wood panel and decorative surfaces industries on technical, standards, regulatory, quality assurance and product acceptance matters. CPA also operates the Grademark Certification Program, an accredited Third Party Certifier (TPC), and the first in the world to be approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for formaldehyde emissions testing and certification of composite panels.
The Composite Panel Association is committed to advancing and certifying the sustainability of industry products for residential, commercial and industrial uses.
For more information about the ECC Program, contact Gary Heroux.
CPA Eco-CertifiedTM Composite (ECC) Sustainability Standard CPA 4-11 [PDF]
ECC Sustainability Standard & Certification Program Brochure [PDF]