The Power of Green

May 3rd, 2011 by DWM Magazine

At 40 years of age (as marked by the first Earth Day celebration, in 1970), the environmental movement in the U.S. isn’t young. Yet, it is stronger today than ever before – certainly within the woodworking industry.

The movement unquestionably is having an impact on the manufacture of doors and windows. CARB phase two went into effect January of 2010 and sets strict limits of formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products, including hardwood plywood, particleboard and MDF. Consumers want green, government is demanding it and LEED is pulling the industry toward it.

Choice of adhesives is pivotal in meeting the call for environmental responsibility. CARB requires your finished product to meet phase two emission standards, encouraging you to use products that are formaldehyde-free or contain no added formaldehyde. To gain coveted LEED points, the adhesive must have VOC content lower than 30 g/L for credit 4.1, have no added formaldehyde or be formaldehude-free for credit 4.4 and be sourced within 500 miles of the project site for credit 5.

Adhesives manufacturers have scurried to meet the industry’s need for green glues. A number now offer products that meet the LEED, CARB and rigorous state and regional VOC requirements. But green doesn’t always mean great. Look for green products that also perform well. When investigating adhesives for your plant, focus on products that comply with environmental regulations, suit your particular production processes and offer the performance characteristics that increase productivity and enhance product. Beyond VOC content, consider such characteristics as strength, set time, water and heat resistance, ease of use, versatility, etc.

Look, too, for manufacturers that have demonstrated leadership in the development of green adhesives. Are they just riding the go-green wave – or do they have a history of commitment to environmentally friendly products? How broad is their offering for green products? And do they innovate unique adhesives technologies or merely follow in the footsteps of companies that do?

We would like to know what your company’s outlook on the green movement is. What do your customers think about the green movement? We encourage you to comment in response to this blog.


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