COMMERCIAL FLOORING | United Arab Emirates


ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Environmental certificates and eco-labels



1. Blue Angel
The Blue Angel is one of the oldest ecology labels. It is awarded by RAL (Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e.V.) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment. The government environment mark was awarded to DLW Linoleum because it satisfies the following criteria one hundred percent:
  • consists largely of the renewable raw material wood
  • environmentally friendly production, especially the coating
  • very safe from a health point of view in a living environment

2. Swan label
The Scandinavian Swan Label evaluates the entire manufacturing process. This also includes emission of pollutants in addition to energy and water consumption. The Nordic Swan also supports important innovations which contribute to environmental protection. DLW Linoleum was awarded the certificate because it stresses the environment as little as possible and guarantees sustainability.

3. Austrian Environment Mark
The Austrian Environment Mark sees itself as a guarantee for environmentally friendly products and services. Introduced in 1990 on the initiative of the Minister of the Environment at that time Dr. Marlies Flemming, it is awarded to products, tourism companies and educational facilities. It provides the public with information about the environmental stress of consumer goods by their manufacture, use and disposal and identifies environmentally friendly alternatives. DLW Linoleum was awarded this certificate because it satisfies a number of environmental criteria as proven by an independent inspection. The environment mark combines a high environment standard with quality and product safety.

4. LEED
The American LEED standard, which was developed and implemented in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council, is a rating system that certifies new construction or existing commercial and office buildings as well as residential structures. A building receives a LEED certificate by meeting fundamental sustainable construction requirements and earning a certain amount of points based on defined specifications and the use of eco-friendly construction materials. Flooring by itself cannot receive a LEED certificate, but it can earn LEED points that contribute to certification. Armstrong provides these LEED ratings for DLW flooring.

5. Armstrong is a member of DGNB
Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen e.V. / German Sustainable Building Council Armstrong is an active partner in the DGNB, the German Association for Sustainable Construction, whose purpose is to point out and promote paths and solutions for sustainable construction. The German Sustainable Construction Seal of Approval recognizes outstanding buildings in various categories and is designed for both national and international markets. The DGNB trains special auditors, who award gold, silver and bronze sustainability certificates for buildings. As part of the certification process, they consider the entire life cycle of the building and the economic, ecological, socio-cultural and functional aspects of the building, as well as the construction materials. www.dgnb.de

6. ERFMI
Armstrong is a member of ERFMI, the European Resilient Flooring Manufacturers’ Institute. Representing the interests of the manufacturers of elastic flooring, ERFMI has taken it upon itself to develop a tool that at the click of a button can calculate EPD data, i.e. environmental product declarations, based on a wide range of manufacturers for almost every type of elastic flooring all across Europe. The EPD is calculated using the project description, building type and life span as inputs. The free calculator is available online at www.erfmi.com.

7. EPD
In order to assess the sustainability of buildings, there are various systems and certificates in almost all European countries. Construction material data, so-called Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), form the foundation for this kind of building certification and are used by architects in the initial planning phase. These data are based on internationally recognized ISO standards and document the characteristics of the various construction materials. Besides resource and energy usage as well as eco-friendliness (and also toxicology later on), product life span and maintenance are also considered. ERFMI has developed a tool that calculates EPD data based on a wide range of manufactures for almost every type of elastic flooring.

8. AgBB Evaluation
The Committee for Health-related Evaluation of Building Products (Ausschuss zur gesundheitlichen Bewertung von Bauprodukten - AgBB) uses a uniform and reproducible assessment tool to measure indoor air pollution caused by so-called volatile organic connections (VOC). Construction materials can release impurities into the indoor air which can harm human health and well-being. The assessment sets health-related quality standards and certifies particularly low-emission products. An external audit must be conducted annually, and only flooring, which scores below the threshold, may be used indoors according to AgBB guidelines. Armstrong has had its DLW Linoleum, DLW Vinyl, DLW Luxury Vinyl and DLW Fiber-bonded flooring certified.

9. GUT
On the 4th of December 1990 the "Gemeinschaft umweltfreundlicher Teppichboden e. V." (GUT) was founded with the aim of guaranteeing maximum environmental compatibility in every stage of the ‘life cycle’ of a floor covering. The GUT seal indicates that DLW Linoleum has been examined for its health and ecological aspects and satisfies the strict GUT standards. Only these products receive a test number. This number on the back of the product is a guarantee that the respective floor covering has been tested by one of the recognised test institutes. The compliance with the GUT criteria is monitored by annual inspections at the manufacturers and in the market. Companies which belong to the GUT association have sworn, to examine products for damaging chemicals and emissions whereby the tests are carried out by one of the five neutral European research institutes.

10. EMAS
In mid 1995 the European Union issued a "Directive (EEC) No. 1836/93 of the Commission on the Voluntary Participation in a Community System for Environmental Management and Industrial Inspection", or "EC-Eco-Audit" or "EMAS" (= Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) for short. It gives companies the possibility to examine the environmental aspects of their operations and to improve on them continuously. They are urged to voluntarily carry out environmental company audits, compile environmental guidelines, develop environment programs for improving their environmental effects, introduce environmental management and present their results to the public in an environment declaration approved by an independent auditor. The Environment Audit Act of 1995-12-07 offers the national basis for effective execution of the EC-Eco-Audit Directive.

11. ISO 14001
The ISO (International Organisation for Standards) is a world-wide association of national standards institutes. ISO 14001 for environmental management systems exists since 1996 and was awarded to Armstrong because it fulfils the following standards:
  • Introduction and maintenance of an environmental management system
  • Formulation and compliance with a company-specific environment policy
  • Uniform implementation of environment strategies
  • Compliance with environment laws and regulations
  • Certification of the environment management system by an external expertise
  • Internal inspection system for complying with the environment regulations

13. ISO 9001
ISO 9001 defines the requirements for a quality management system. Armstrong received this approval because all fields of business such as development, production, laying and customer service satisfy this standard.

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