Two products have earned unprecedented recognition from the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program, raising the bar for building materials. This week, the program awarded its first-ever Platinum-level certification and named the first homogenous flooring product to earn Gold-level certification.
The Bark House® poplar shingle and wall panel from Highland Craftsmen Inc. is the first product to meet the Platinum requirements across all five Cradle to Cradle certification categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.
Bark House poplar shingle siding and wall panels are made from reclaimed tree bark, with artisan craftsmanship transforming what was once a waste material into elegant, handcrafted wallcovering for exteriors and interiors. A “biological nutrient” at its outset, nothing is added to the material and it is fully recyclable at the end of its life.
“Bark House’s approach to sustainability is certainly rooted in its naturally derived product line, but the company has gone much beyond that, embracing a holistic approach that is the essence of Cradle to Cradle’s own philosophies,” said Stacy Glass, Vice President, Built Environment for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. “Achieving an overall Platinum certification requires achieving top marks in all five categories, an accomplishment that truly demonstrates the depth and commitment of the company’s efforts to provide safe products, that can be perpetually cycled and are manufactured in ways that respect humans and the environment.”
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Along with the material’s innate sustainability, Bark House has dedicated itself to creating a viable supply chain and expanding its positive impact to other businesses in North Carolina and the Appalachian region by training loggers in the proper procurement and handling of RAW™ (Recycled Appalachian Wood Waste) poplar bark. Though the work of peeling back bark is hard, it’s also environmentally sound and economically worthwhile—increasing the income of loggers fourfold for a single tree.
“At Bark House, we have always taken a ‘wholistic’ approach to business, from the low impact of our product lines to the high impact of our social outreach. This mentality is key to creating balance, and without balance, systems will ultimately fail,” said Chris McCurry, co-founder for The Bark House at Highland Craftsmen Inc. “This line of thinking is what drew us to the Cradle to Cradle methodology. With its multi-tiered system under five categories, Cradle to Cradle offers a balanced framework across people, planet, and prosperity that allows a business to measure its progress and plan for improvements. The achievement of Platinum across each evaluation area further showcases the ‘wholistic’, regenerative nature of our work.”
The patent-pending, non-PVC flooring product has a hardwearing design that makes it particularly suitable for high traffic areas such as public spaces and education or healthcare facilities, that require resilient and environmentally responsible flooring.
“We are extremely proud to have received a Cradle to Cradle Gold Level certification for iQ One, proving that environmental responsibility, aesthetics and functionality can work in perfect balance,” said Rob Peters, Vice President Marketing EMEA. “iQ One is a part of Tarkett’s vision to move towards a circular economic business model based on Cradle to Cradle principles where products are designed with good materials and can be safely reused and recycled.”
The iQ One collection comes in a wide range of 38 colours and three non-directional patterns: Dusty, Classic and Misty. The patterns can be mixed and matched, and are available with coordinated non-PVC welding rods for a perfect finish. iQ One is also extremely flexible, which simplifies the installation process by making it easy to cove up walls, install around pipes and fold down into floor drains, which also makes it approved for wet room installations.
The product also boasts easy maintenance, low life-cycle cost and a quick return on investment. It can be cleaned with dry or damp methods using only water and mild detergent, without the need to use wax or polish. It can easily be restored to its original appearance and properties by dry buffing.