Dec 16, 2013

WQA Awards First Activated Carbon Sustainability Certification

Kuraray Chemical earned this certification for a family of nine activated carbon products

The Water Quality Assn. (WQA) has granted its first ever product sustainability certification for activated carbon to Kuraray Chemical Co. Ltd. Osaka, Japan-based Kuraray Chemical earned this certification for a family of nine activated carbon products sourced from renewable coconut shell feedstock.

The standard to which Kuraray is certified — WQA S-802: Product Certification for Activated Carbon — evaluates activated carbon for a wide range of criteria, including for sustainable manufacturing, worker health and safety, and sourcing of raw materials. WQA utilizes an approach that considers all phases of the product’s life cycle, emphasizing those aspects with the greatest potential for environmental impact.

In order to ensure the sustainability of the activated carbon product, the applicant company must conform not only to WQA S-802, but also to WQA S-801, the association’s prerequisite standard for sustainable management. WQA S-801 assesses corporate governance and social responsibility practices, and requires a successful audit of the manufacturing facilities associated with the production of the certified products. Additionally, the candidate product(s) must be certified to a recognized material safety standard, such as NSF/ANSI or 42 NSF/ANSI 61.

Both WQA standards utilize a system that awards points for various criteria. Products and their associated production facilities) must attain a minimum threshold of points in order to display the Sustainability Certification Mark and appear in the official WQA listings. These WQA-sponsored product sustainability standards (also including WQA S-803: Product Sustainability for Activated Carbon Water Filtration Systems) are the first of their kind for the drinking water treatment industry.

“Our Sustainability Certification Program is a great example of how WQA is working on behalf of its member companies to promote social and environmental responsibility in the water treatment industry,” says Tom Palkon, WQA vice president and chief operating officer. “We’re hoping to broaden the scope of our existing standards to include several other types of water treatment products—like coolers and bubblers, water softeners, UV disinfection and reverse osmosis units—by the end of 2014.”

For more information about WQA’s Sustainability Certification Program, please contact Stuart Mann, CWS-VI, at 630.929.2546 or [email protected]