Sustainability & Sustainable Building Materials

Choosing and using sustainable building materials doesn’t have to be complicated, and opting for green building products doesn’t mean you have to give up on your vision or experience a project delay. At Rulon International, it’s our mission to build custom wood ceiling and wall systems that deliver both beauty and sustainability. Every designer, contractor, and installer who uses our sustainable building materials can be assured we’ll always provide the very best products and services available to achieve beautiful, award-winning installations together.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is defined as “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance,” and it’s based on the principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends on our natural environment in some way. At Rulon International, our approach to sustainability rests in the overarching concept of sustainable design; this includes making sure our products are responsibly harvested and manufactured with minimal waste.

The Impact & Benefits of Sustainable Building Materials

When it comes down to it, sustainability helps us meet our present needs without affecting the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Sustainability consists of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social (also referred to as people, planet, and profits). When companies make the intentional decision to follow sustainable principles, they’ll positively contribute toward the three pillars of sustainability.

Sustainable building materials (also called eco building materials or eco-friendly building materials) have benefits that go beyond helping the environment. For example, our custom wood products:

  • Are durable and will stand the test of time

  • Help conserve energy and water

  • Put less waste in landfills
  • Reduce toxic chemicals and overall environmental impacts

  • Improve the health and happiness for those who enjoy the space

The benefits of using wood specifically have been highlighted by many, including Criswell Davis, and internationally recognized American hardwood expert, speaker, and hardwood specification consultant. In 2020, he gave a TedX Talk where he impressed upon the importance of using wood products in build and design:

When we bring hardwoods and nature into our built spaces, we reaffirm our symbiotic relationship with trees and we reduce myriad stresses in our lives. American hardwoods in design around the world create extraordinarily beautiful spaces. It’s important to remember that this beauty is achieved through an agricultural product that is renewing itself constantly, is cleaning our air, and will last for generations. So I encourage you to incorporate wood into your built environments… comfortable in the knowledge that our American hardwood resource is well-managed and sustainable.

– American Hardwood Improves Our Lives | Criswell Davis | TEDxDayton)

Since there are so many benefits to using sustainable materials, it’s an easy choice to make when working on a project. With additional benefits provided by custom wood ceilings, tiles, and panels, it’s only a matter of figguring out how you’re going to incorporate them into your next design.

At Rulon International, we’re proud to provide owners, designers, architects, contractors, and installers access to high-quality wood wall systems and other wood products, like ceiling and wall tiles. To learn more about our products and find what you need for your project, contact our team.

To learn more about our products and find what you need for your next sustainable project, contact our team.

What Are Sustainable Building Materials?

Green buildings reduce negative impacts on our natural environment through their design, construction, or day-to-day operations. When done exceptionally well, green buildings can even contribute to positive impacts! 

Green buildings use sustainable building materials that have a low environmental impact and have most, if not all, of the following attributes:

While wood has become an increasingly popular choice, other preferred sustainable building materials include cork, ferrock, straw, stone, rammed earth. Depending on your project, you can likely incorporate many of these materials into your build and design for a cleaner, greener end result that will continue to prove its merit over time.

Environmentally Responsible Manufacturing

Sustainable manufacturing is defined by the EPA as “the creation of manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources.”

Today, the act of environmentally responsible manufacturing has crossed into companies, with many creating sustainability goals and setting dates for when those goals will be achieved.

The EPA has noted that “[a] growing number of companies are treating ‘sustainability’ as an important objective in their strategy and operations to increase growth and global competitiveness. This trend has reached well beyond the small niche of those who traditionally positioned themselves as ‘green,’ and now includes many prominent businesses across many different industry sectors. In many cases, these efforts are having significant results.”

Apart from attracting more customers, getting more business, and gaining a competitive advantage, many companies can count on other benefits of environmentally responsible manufacturing, like reduced long-term operational costs, worthwhile tax credits, and brand recognition.

Our commitment to sustainability has been going strong since we became an FSC Chain-of-Custody certificate holder in 1998! If you want to learn more about our sustainable wood ceilings and wall systems, contact our team.

Investopedia has defined corporate social responsibility (CSR) as “…a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.”

The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is any action a company takes to enhance its relationship with the community. More than anything, it’s about doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, with no ulterior motives attached.

When a company has honest, values-based motivations for building a corporate social responsibility program, it can make a big difference for both the company itself and the community they live and work in. As an added bonus, a company that chooses to implement corporate social responsibility programs can become more effective and influential as a business. 

For many companies, treating the environment well is important, especially for those that manufacture products. Because of this, environmental-related values, such as sustainability, often show up as a core element of their CSR efforts. 

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Rulon International, and environmental corporate social responsibility has been one of our core values from the beginning. All of our products are recognized as sustainable and efficient. As a company, we’re deeply committed to creating custom wood ceilings and wall systems that allow us to continually lead the market in environmentally responsible manufacturing. To find out more about our sustainable wood products, reach out to our team

Sustainably-harvested wood helps keep forests green. So what does that really mean? Basically, it means that whenever one tree is chopped down for use, one or more new trees will be replanted in its place. Not only is this beneficial to the environment and your design (green building perks!), but it’s also a good way to publicly showcase your company’s commitment to sustainability (which is great when the environment is a big focus of your CSR practices).

Sustainably-harvested wood comes from a preserved forest, which is made possible through sustainable forestry. This practice is committed to keeping the forest healthy and productive so future generations can enjoy the same natural resource (hardwood) as we do right now. 

How to Use Sustainably-Harvested Wood in Your Building Project 

It’s important to recognize that just because you’re using wood in your build and design does not mean it’s sustainably harvested. So if you want to use wood products that come from preserved forests, you have to know where to get them. 

If wood products are certified sustainable by the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), you can search their website databases to find local dealers who carry certified wood products that meet their sustainability standards. This way, you can choose wood products that are verified to be sustainably harvested.

All of our custom wood products reflect our commitment to the environment and sustainability. To learn more about our sustainably-harvested wood products, contact our team

As the Whole Building Design Guide® explains, “Buildings have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment. During their construction, occupancy, renovation, repurposing, and demolition, buildings use energy, water, and raw materials, generate waste, and emit potentially harmful atmospheric emissions.”

That’s why sustainability certifications exist, like the popular ones below.

LEED Certification 

USGBC’s LEED certification is the gold standard for responsible building. It’s a sustainability framework used for building that applies to both a building’s design and construction, as well as its operations and maintenance. LEED’s main focus is on the impact on the built environment, which means the structure’s relationship with the environment. A first glance at a LEED-certified space will guarantee recycled, sustainable, and environmentally-conscious building materials used from top to bottom. At Rulon International, our products are manufactured to meet LEED v4 requirements, helping to achieve a more sustainable, and longer-lasting, environment.

FSC Certification 

The Forest Stewardship Council is a pioneer in forest certification and the global leader in sustainable forest management. Their mission is to “promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.” Part of this mission includes the certification of sawmills, primary wood processing plants, and manufacturing plants as Chain-of-Custody holders.

FSC certification verifies that material passed from receiving through manufacturing and onto shipping has not been supplanted by non-FSC-certified materials, resulting in what’s considered a “contaminated” batch of wood. The goal of the certificate is to provide third-party verification that the final product is in fact from a sustainably managed forest. Rulon International has been providing FSC-certified materials since 1998.

WELL Certification 

WELL certification is the answer to the question “How does a building affect human health?” The certifying body, founded in 2013, takes the health of a building to new levels, inspecting and verifying its impact on human life.

The WELL Building Standard™ version 2 (WELL v2™) focuses on 10 main concepts:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Nourishment
  • Light
  • Movement
  • Thermal comfort
  • Sound
  • Materials
  • Mind
  • Community
  • Innovation

Rulon International’s product lines naturally align with biophilic design. Coupled with sustainable manufacturing practices, our custom wood products are the perfect finishing touch to a WELL-certified space.

Sustainability & Transparency

Methodology, documentation, and visibility are critical for those that choose to incorporate sustainability in their builds and designs. At Rulon International, our lumber is responsibly sourced. We proudly hold documentation that verifies our materials are sustainably sourced and confidently rely on third-party testing to confirm the health of our material components to ensure we’re providing the highest quality materials to those who use them.

We’re committed to transparency in our sustainability efforts because we believe in helping the environment and helping those who wish to make greener buildings through sustainable materials. That’s why we’re always happy to provide this information upon request.

Learn More About Sustainability & Sustainable Building Products

At Rulon International, we insist on environmentally responsible manufacturing, and our products meet ILFI, LEED, and WELL standards that contribute to greener buildings. Our custom wood ceiling systems, as well as our wood panels, ceilings, tiles, and walls, are designed to leave a minimal impact on the environment while producing a stunning result you’re proud to show off. To learn more about our sustainability efforts, or to find the perfect product for your project, contact our team today.


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