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CRI's efforts result in Sustainable Carpet Standard

30
Jun '12
Mr. Werner Braun
Mr. Werner Braun, President of the Dalton, US-based Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has played a lead role in promoting the development of a consensus standard to assess the sustainability of carpet products.
 
Have you noticed that today almost every organization wants to “go green“? 
 
That’s a great goal - one that every organization should strive toward. Conserving our natural resources - reducing waste, recycling, and reusing products - are important tools for sustainability that will protect and ensure our futures and those of our children. 
 
But sometimes what results is a plethora of green certifications popping out of the woodwork - with no common standards but a lot of “vested interests.“ 
 
We have seen it happen in the carpet industry, going back to 2002 when “green guides” were proliferating. Back then, about a half dozen or so green guides on carpet sustainability were produced. Each seemed to promote a different aspect of going green, and each seemed to give credit to whatever methods of sustainability that their company or interest was currently supporting. 
 
It was as if there were a bunch of beauty contest standards floating around. What resulted was a lot of confusion for, and manipulation of, the consumer. 
 
For example, one organization might view products as sustainable or “green” if product contained a large amount of recycled content - say 50% or more. But another organization might vaunt the fact that a product was “green” because the manufacturing process they used resulted in a small environmental footprint, conserving resources such as water and electricity in production. 
 
Some of these green guides were produced by people in business whose goal was to make money, and some were produced by organizations that had vested interests in particular areas. But the bottom line was that there were no common standards for what was “green” and what wasn’t. 
 
Fortunately, our Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Board of Directors had the insight to promote the development of a consensus standard to assess the sustainability of carpet products.
 
We got together with the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International to develop a carpet sustainability assessment standard. Our desire was to accomplish this under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
 
 


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