Low-emitting or formaldehyde-free?

August 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

As the public and professional debate on indoor air quality goes on, building products are given adjectives like “low-emitting” or “urea formaldehyde-free” or “CARB-compliant.” It can be very confusing.

Smith & Fong prefers the term “formaldehyde-free,” and most of our products meet this standard.  That means no formaldehyde of any kind. The few that aren’t entirely formaldehyde-free incorporate phenol-formaldehyde (not urea) in their adhesive systems, but these products—as well as all Smith & Fong Plyboo, Durapalm and Sideways lines—are noemitting. There’s no mistaking that.

All of Smith & Fong’s sheet-good products and most of our flooring products have passed California’s Section 01350 protocol, the most stringent standards on the planet, testing for 78 known VOCs found in composite wood products.  The USGBC recognizes 01350 as meeting or exceeding requirements for LEED credits  EQc4.3 and EQc4.4.

Smith & Fong is committed to a healthy indoor environment and to meeting or exceeding all current standards.

Smith & Fong’s carbon footprint

August 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

Smith & Fong was founded on the principles of environmental protection, sustainability and social justice. In 2007 we began a program to eliminate urea formaldehyde from all our manufacturing processes.

To corroborate and track our progress on eliminating formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals from our products, we have undertaken to have all our products pass the California Section 01350 protocol, testing for 78 known VOC's found in manufactured wood products.

In January of 2008 we secured the first FSC certification for our bamboo forests, providing third-party verification to architects and designers who look to bamboo as a sustainable building material for LEED projects.

A more complex but equally important issue we have begun to tackle is Smith & Fong's carbon footprint, beginning in the bamboo forests of China and extending throughout our North American distribution channel. We're currently undertaking an exhaustive carbon-emission analysis of our manufacturing and transportation systems. As the data becomes available we will post this on our website. The net result of Smith & Fong's carbon study will be the establishment of a program to reduce and ultimately eliminate our carbon footprint.

Key areas we're studying now include:

Carbon output from our manufacturing operations

  • Shipping and transportation emissions, from forest to distribution point
  • Carbon footprint of office operations in San Francisco
  • Carbon Credits and alternative measures that can be taken to offset or reduce carbon output    
  • Bamboo forests' ability to sequester carbon and produce oxygen