Today, Construction Specialties (C/S), the leading manufacturer of high-performing architectural products, announced that its C/S Acrovyn® 4000 line of interior wall protection products received GOLD Cradle to Cradle® Certification, ensuring customers that material choices and production processes have been reviewed for their impact on human and environmental health, and PBTs and PVC have been completely eliminated from the product and the manufacturing process.
The Cradle to Cradle GOLD Certification, administered by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) is the culmination of fifteen years of refinement of C/S's manufacturing process, beginning with identifying and reducing hazardous chemicals used in finishing processes, to the full shift from reduction to elimination of chemicals of concern on a micro level.
"C/S's decision to completely overhaul its manufacturing processes to develop and offer Acrovyn 4000 marks a seminal step forward for the building industry at large," said James Ewell, Vice President, Director of Consulting for MBDC. "As the first company in the industry to commit to completely remove PVC from its wall protection line, C/S will hopefully lead a wider progression away from chemicals of concern. We look forward to continuing to work together to help C/S create a positive impact as an organization."
Cradle to Cradle® Certification evaluates a product's design for future life cycles, safety to humans and the environment. Unlike single-attribute eco-labels, MBDC's certification program takes a comprehensive approach to evaluating the sustainability of a product and its manufacturing practices through assessments in five categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship, and Social Responsibility.
"Cradle to Cradle GOLD Certification is landmark recognition of the endemic shift we have made as an organization," said Howard Williams, Vice President of Construction Specialties. "MBDC has guided us on our mission to create products that are healthier and non-toxic, especially important since many of our customers are hospitals and schools."
"There is a growing urgency around disclosure of the contents of building products, and at C/S we have chosen to reveal every component of our product line down to parts per million. We hope this precedent challenges both manufacturers and building owners to be part of the solution bringing forth healthier building practices," said Williams.
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as "PVC" or "vinyl," is one of the most common synthetic materials and appears in thousands of different formulations and configurations. Over 14 billion pounds of PVC are currently produced per year in North America and approximately 75% of all PVC manufactured is used in construction materials. According to the Healthy Building Network PVC is the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective, posing major hazards in its manufacture, product life and disposal. Carcinogens are unavoidably created in the production of PVC and can cause severe health problems, including cancer, endocrine disruption, endometriosis, neurological damage, birth defects & impaired child development and reproductive and immune system damage.
Beyond the elimination of PBTs (persistent bioacummulative toxins), PVC and BPA (bisphenol A), C/S Acrovyn 4000 offers the same high-impact strength and UL Class 1 fire rating as original Acrovyn. To enhance aesthetics and improve cleanability, Acrovyn 4000 also features a new contemporary texture overwhelmingly preferred by owners and designers. Through all these improvements, C/S continues to maintain the tight color and gloss level tolerances the industry has come to expect, while guaranteeing the same price and performance levels original Acrovyn has offered for more than 40 years.
C/S plans to closely follow its GOLD Cradle to Cradle certification for the Acrovyn 4000 Profiles line with GOLD certification for its SHEET product line, which is currently certified as SILVER.
Acrovyn 4000 was recently named as one of the Top 10 Green Building Products of 2010 by Sustainable Industries magazine. C/S was honored by Practice Greenhealth with its Champion for Change award for the second consecutive year and has been honored by the State of Pennsylvania with its Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence. C/S will be exhibiting its Acrovyn 4000 line at Booth 1309 at the 2010 GreenBuild Expo, November 17-19 in Chicago.