A supreme way to go green

February 18, 2008

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

Dura Supreme, located in Howard Lake, has not only made itself a household name in the cabinetry industry, but is now recognized for its commitment to and participation in a new Environmental Stewardship Certification Program.

This program is said to be setting a new standard in sustainability for cabinet makers.

The program is administered by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, which is a national organization that the industry’s larger companies belong to, according to Dura Supreme’s Director of Human Resources Steve Michel.

Last year was the first year businesses could get certified in the program and Dura Supreme was one of first companies to do so, Michel said.

“All of our cabinets carry the certification,” Michel said. “It has to do with our manufacturing processes, using recycled products with recycled material content, and recycling the waste we produce in the plant,” he added.

“We use some materials that have recycled material content, and the waste we produce is recycled because one of the goals is to reduce the amount of materials going into a landfill,” Michel explained.

In fact, the sawdust Dura Supreme produces is used for animal bedding and hauled away by semi truckloads.

Choosing materials that have lower emissions like plywood and particle board containing reduced levels of formaldehyde is also important to Dura Supreme’s environmental certification, as well as tracking air emissions.

Formaldehyde is used in many building products from carpets to roof sheathing, Michel explained, and limiting the formaldehyde content in cabinets give the consumer and the environment a health benefit.

The company is also required to buy its wood products from suppliers that support sustainable forestry practices.

“This is a component that interests consumers the most,” Michel said.

Dura Supreme is one of only a few cabinet makers that offer a wood called Lyptus. Lyptus trees are grown in South America and grow to maturity in only about a dozen years, according to Michel.

“And they plant much more than they harvest,” he added.

“It’s (the Environmental Stewardship Program) an important program for us. There’s hoops to jump through, but there’s no downside,” Michel explained.

“It’s good for our employees, our customers, the neighborhood, the environment, and is a potential marketing advantage,” Michel said.

All of those advantages fit Dura Supreme’s business philosophy, too, Michel added.

The company’s certification in the Environmental Stewardship Program is even featured in the current Parade of Homes book.

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