NSF/ANSI 140-2019: Sustainability Assessment For Carpet

Carpet can accomplish a multitude of feats. Beyond enhancing a room’s appearance and providing a soft surface for toes to make contact with after a long day, adequate carpeting can increase the R-value of a home, thereby fortifying its insulation, and even absorb the sound of any stomping and otherwise-noisy upstairs neighbors. Carpet, with the help of NSF/ANSI 140-2019: Sustainability Assessment For Carpet, can also perform in consideration of the planet.

Sustainable carpet, with performance and quality equivalent to those of other carpets, is a carpet product that provides environmental, economic, and social benefits while protecting the needs of future generations, public health and welfare, and the environment. This, according to NSF/ANSI 140-2019, is assured over the product’s full commercial cycle.

To help, NSF/ANSI 140-2019 covers a market-based definition for a path to sustainable carpet and establishes performance guidelines for public health and environment. Furthermore, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) principles, with benchmarks for continuous improvement and innovation, this American National Standard addresses the triple bottom line, economic-environmental-societal, throughout the supply chain.

Intended for use by raw material supplier, converters, manufacturers, and end-users, NSF/ANSI 140-2019 enhances market demand for sustainable carpets, enables specifiers to sort out complex information on sustainability, identifies other consensus-based standards pertinent to sustainable carpet, educates and instructs all stakeholders in the carpet supply chain, and encourages competition. Adherence to its guidelines can also result in credits from LEED for Commercial Interiors.

Organizations who seek compliance with the standard do so by meeting prerequisites and getting credits in five categories: public health and environment (PHE), energy and energy efficiency (EN), manufacturing (MFG), reclamation and end-of-life management (EOL), and bio-based content, recycled content, and environmentally preferable product (EPP) materials (MATLs). In attaining credit points, there are three levels of achievement or compliance with the NSF/ANSI 140-2019 standard: Silver, Gold, Platinum. The Gold and Platinum levels are highly differentiated, recognizing superior performance.

Users should also be aware that NSF/ANSI 140-2019 was designed, in part, to demonstrate conformance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (“Green Guides”), as well as with ISO Type 1 (ISO 14024) and Type 2 (ISO 14021) environmental labeling and declaration requirements. You can learn more about these types through our previous post, Environmental Labeling (Ecolabeling): Helping Companies Demonstrate Sustainability and Consumers Make Green Choices.

NSF/ANSI 140-2019 revises the 2015 edition of the same American National Standard. Notably, it was changed to include clean-up items, corrections, and clarifications, and all Annexes have been changed from alpha characters to numeric, preceded by “Normative” or “Informative.”

Furthermore, credits for PHE, EN, MATLs, and MFG were updated, and credits for water reduction and water quality were added under a new section, 7.3, titled “Management of water resources.” A new prerequisite for water inventory was also added.

NSF/ANSI 140-2019: Sustainability Assessment For Carpet is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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