Sustainability Standard for Wall Covering Products Announced

CHICAGO – The Wallcoverings Association (WA) recently announced the availability of its new Sustainability Standard for wall covering products that meet environmental stewardship guidelines (known as NSF/ANSI 342).

Driven by manufacturers, architects, specifiers, designers, and consumers who recognized the importance of environmentally sound practices, WA worked with NSF International to develop the standard to recognize producers and distributors of wall coverings products who meet the criteria for following environmental, social, and economic processes that promote the goal of sustainable practices.

“The Sustainability Standard represents a new and important quality benchmark for the wall coverings industry,” says WA president Michael Bixler. “This new standard will help move our industry forward, reducing environmental impact and prompting manufacturers, designers, and consumers to think about how products are made and where they come from, in addition to how they look and feel. It’s important for consumers and specifiers to have a standard that clearly defines what sustainable practices are, and this standard clearly identifies the products that are setting new performance benchmarks through a documented multi-attribute examination of manufacturing and distribution processes.”

The standard covers a wide range of processes and factors including product design, product manufacturing, long-term usage, value, corporate responsibility, and innovation. While other standards that address sustainability of building products exist, no other standard is specific to wall covering or includes distribution in the evaluation process, as the WA standard does.  

WA has granted NSF the exclusive use of the WA Sustainability Seal. Manufacturers who choose to certify their products through NSF will have the right to apply the seal to the product’s packaging and marketing materials. Distributors who decide to seek certification will also be able to incorporate the seal into marketing and promotional pieces.

“The NSF/ANSI 342 standard is good both for the environment and for the wall covering industry,” says Christopher Mundschenk, WA executive director. “If wall covering manufacturers and suppliers want to succeed in the long run, sustainability must be a big part of their plans. Sound sustainability practices drive efficiencies up and down the supply chain and create competitive advantages for those who follow them.”

To ensure the Sustainability Standard was developed in an objective manner with meaningful criteria, WA partnered with several third parties. Organizations integral to the development and approval process include NSF International, ANSI, and Rezin Inc.

Wall covering manufacturers, distributors, and vendors interested in learning more about the Sustainability Standard can contact WA at or NSF at   

About the Wallcoverings Association
The Wallcoverings Association (WA) is a member-based not-for-profit organization, focused on advancing manufacturing, distributing and overall sales within the wall coverings industry. WA provides a vehicle for communication across segments of the wall coverings industry while promoting the use of wall coverings in the commercial and residential marketplace. For further information on the association, contact WA at (312) 321-5166,, or visit

About NSF International:
NSF International has been testing and certifying products for safety, health and the environment for more than 65 years ( As an independent, not-for-profit organization, NSF’s mission is to protect public health and the environment through standards development, inspection, testing and certification for the food, water, build/construction, retail, chemical, and health science industries. Operating in more than 120 countries, NSF is committed to protecting public health worldwide and is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.