The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) believes that managing waste and saving the environment are necessary goals for both individuals and businesses, and the association promotes this value in several ways. The KCMA not only provides written materials on its website but also offers certification for cabinet manufacturers through its Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP).
ESP certification was developed to promote manufacturing process that protects the environment to the benefit of our greater society, and it goes beyond many other environmental programs. According to the KCMA, ESP was founded on the following principles:
- Forests are necessary for the benefit of the environment and the renewable wood products they provide.
- The intelligent use and conservation of natural resources must be promoted.
- Sustainable forest management results in long-term environmental and economic benefits.
- Association members and customers deserve to be educated about issues concerning the environment and forest management.
The KCMA website claims that ESP was first launched in 2006 and is the only certification program focused on the environment for the manufacturers of kitchen and bath cabinets. The program has been accredited each year by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), and it is referenced in the National Green Building Standard.
The program requires certified companies to review their practices and, update manufacturing methods and track achievements in environmentalism each year to retain their certification. Final judgment on eligibility is made based on compliance in five categories: air quality, community relations, environmental stewardship, process resource management and product resource management.
A few of the requirements for certification are as follows:
- Businesses must have a written policy to protect the environment.
- Particleboard, MDF and plywood must have low formaldehyde emissions.
- Eighty percent of particleboard and MDF must be made from recycled or recovered materials.
- Wood purchases must be certified by a program focusing on sustainable forestry.
- An active recycling program must be in place for process waste.
- The manufacturer must be involved with the community or other charitable organizations.
Cabinet manufacturers with ESP certification may then display the ESP seal on its certified products.