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Green Solutions Glossary

Learn more about common terms used with the green flooring industry.

Acidification: Acidification is the process whereby air pollution mainly ammonia, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides is converted into acid substances. This acid rain is best known for the damage it causes to forests and lakes.

American Tree Farm System: The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is a program of the American Forest Foundation, committed to sustaining forests, watershed and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship. Their mission is to promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry.

Bamboo Flooring: This flooring material is made from bamboo grass which is flattened and covered with a laminate to make a solid and durable surface. It is considered a great alternative to hardwood floors.

Carbon Footprint: A Carbon Footprint is made up of the sum of two parts, the direct / primary footprint and the indirect / secondary footprint. The primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels including domestic energy consumption and transportation (e.g. car and plane). The secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use – those associated with their manufacture and eventual breakdown.

Cork Board Flooring: This is a flooring material that is made from cork oak trees. It is a naturally porous material that can be used to muffle sounds in a home or business. It is also incredibly durable and water-resistant.

Cradle to Cradle: It’s the idea that at the end of life, any product can be turned into something else to close the cycle so that ultimately there is no waste.

Decorative Layer: The rotogravure printing process offers a multitude of design possibilities that are expressed through the decorative layer such as patterns, geometrics, natural stone designs and more.

Eco-friendly, Environmentally-friendly, and nature-friendly: Synonyms used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment. There is no international standard for this concept yet.

Energy Star Rating: One of the main goals of the ENERGY STAR program is to develop performance-based specifications that determine the most efficient products in a particular category. Products that meet these specifications earn the ENERGY STAR label. To develop ENERGY STAR product specifications, EPA and DOE use a systematic process that relies on rigorous market, engineering, and pollution savings analyses as well as input from industry stakeholders. This process ensures that the ENERGY STAR: identifies products where large gains in energy efficiency and pollution reduction can be cost-effectively realized and can play an influential role to expand the market for these products.

Floor Score Program: Developed in conjunction with the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), the Floor Score Program is a certification system that is specifically for hard surface flooring and flooring adhesives that meet California’s VOC requirements. Floor Score certification requires independent testing and verification by SCS.

FSC Certified (wood): Products bearing the FSC logo, which guarantees that the wood from a certified well-managed forest, are available across the world from a variety of mills, manufacturers, and distributors.

Recycled materials: This is anything that is produced from post-consumer waste, such as newspapers, plastics, glass, wood shavings, and so on.

Renewable Resource: This is a natural material that will be able to naturally replace itself as fast as it is consumed. This includes materials for cork board and bamboo flooring.