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Eco-standards updated for kitchen and bath cabinets

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), a Reston, Va.-based trade organization for manufacturers of kitchen cabinets, bath vanities, decorative laminate products, has revised the criteria for companies to attain certification under the association’s Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP).

Under the new standards, effective Jan. 1, 2011, the use of CARB ATCM compliant low formaldehyde emitting particleboard, hardwood plywood and MDF panel products is mandatory.

In addition, the updated standards encourage the use of solid wood and plywood products certified through a recognized sustainable forestry program by doubling the possible points. Companies who offer chain-of-custody sustainable forestry certification on at least one line of cabinetry earn additional points.  

Currently over 140 companies or brands are ESP certified by the association. To gain certification, applicants must earn points in each of five ESP categories: Air Quality, Product Resource Management, Process Resource Management, Environmental Stewardship and Community Relations.   

KCMA ESP certified cabinets can be identified by the ESP seal, located on sink base and vanity base of all certified lines. To obtain a complete list of ESP certified manufacturers and learn more about the program, visit www.greencabinetsource.org.

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Fortune Brands to spin off home products division

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Fortune Brands, whose products include Master Lock and Moen, has announced its intention to separate its three consumer businesses –home and security, golf products and distilled spirits — so it can focus solely on its liquor business as an independently publicly traded company.

The Deerfieled, Ill.-based company also said it will pursue a tax-free spin off to its shareholders of its home and security business as an independent, publicly traded company and the sale or tax-free spin-off of its golf business. 

The board of directors, which made these decisions unanimously, has directed management to develop detailed separation plans for consideration and final approval by the board, according to the announcement. The company expects to complete development of these plans — including the structure, timing, and other related matters for each business — within the next several months.

“While the breadth and balance of our portfolio have served shareholders very well, we see the potential for even greater value by separating our businesses into focused companies at a time when they have emerged from the economic downturn in such strong positions,” said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands. “We believe now is the right time to move ahead with this tax-efficient approach, and we’re confident the course we’ve outlined today generates greater potential long-term value than all other alternatives."

Fortune Brands, Inc. include Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon, Sauza tequila, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Cruzan rum, Teacher’s and Laphroaig Scotch, EFFEN vodka and DeKuyper cordials. The home and security brands include Moen faucets, Aristokraft, Omega, Diamond and Kitchen Craft cabinetry, Therma-Tru door systems, Simonton windows, Master Lock security products and Waterloo storage and organization products. Golf brands include Titleist and FootJoy.

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Home Depot launches online DIY community

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based Home Depot announced it has launched a new online community designed as a place where do-it-yourselfers can discuss home improvement projects and share their expertise with each other.

The new How-To Community serves as more than a forum for customers, it also puts them in touch with a number of tenured Home Depot store associates from around the country who are ready to help consumers tackle their home repair projects. The new site features a “Meet Our Experts” section that spotlights the community’s store associates and “What’s New in Our Aisles” section highlights new product innovations. Community members ask questions, take polls, provide tips, post comments, share images and videos.  

The How-to Community features discussions organized in categories including Paint, Tools and Hardware, Garden and Yard and Do-it-Yourself and Repair.

"Our How-To Community is a gathering place for homeowners, professional contractors, product manufacturers and weekend DIYers to swap tips and share project knowledge," said Brad Shaw, VP communications, The Home Depot. "In addition to the peer-to-peer support you’d expect in this type of community, we’ve selected and trained some of our most tenured store associates to serve as product experts on the site a couple of days each week. The other days, they are back in the store answering questions there. Our customers will find the same level of knowledge and support on this site that they receive in our stores."

Members of the new community can earn rank and status by regularly participating on the site and offering their advice.

Visitors can access the site either through homedepot.com or directly at http://community.homedepot.com/.

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