Armstrong said it has called on a non-profit group devoted to the preservation of trees to help assure verification of wood harvested for use in the company’s hardwood flooring. According to Frank Ready, president and CEO of Armstrong North American Floor Products, the partnership with the Alexandria, Va.-based Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) is in keeping with the company’s efforts to minimize the environmental impact of  its hardwood floor production.

“At Armstrong, we are committed to protecting forests and to promoting responsible forest management practices,” said Frank Ready, president and CEO -- Armstrong North American Floor Products. 

The Lancaster-Pa. based company said it insists that its suppliers follow all applicable laws and regulations regarding raw materials and labor.  It also noted that only a small portion of the wood it buys-less than 5%--is derived from tropical forests. The company stressed that it requires its suppliers to produce “documentation verifying their adherence to national and international rules and regulations governing specific tropical wood species.”

Ready added that its newly formed relationship with TFF will strengthen the company’s commitment to practices that are environmentally responsible. “By working with the Tropical Forest Foundation, we will further ensure, through third-party verification, that Armstrong wood flooring products meet the highest standards of sustainable forest management,” he said.

The arrangement calls for TFF to manage independent third-party verification and ensure that Armstrong’s wood products suppliers obtained the lumber legally.  The company will also work with TFF to encourage all links in the hardwood supply chain to embrace a Reduced Impact Logging system designed to minimize the ecological impact of logging and ensure healthy forests. The effort will extend to companies that do business with Armstrong’s suppliers.

Keister Evans, executive director of the 17-year old Tropical Forest Foundation, noted that the flooring manufacturer’s participation is a welcome development. “As a TFF patron, Armstrong is an integral part of an important international leadership effort to preserve and protect precious ecological systems, benefit the environment and promote the responsible use of natural resources,” said Evans.