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Cabinets with a conscience

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Fine cabinetry is not the only focus for Pacific Crest Industries – the company also places an emphasis on sustainable, socially responsible manufacture

Cabinets with a conscience

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Green may be the new black, but that doesn't mean you have to compromise your wish list when choosing a kitchen that is eco-friendly.

Cabinetmaker Pacific Crest Industries has long been ahead of the pack when it comes to sustainable design. The company, which sells through dealers in the western United States, has been committed to the cause for more than 20 years.

CEO and owner Steve Bell says this commitment is a natural extension of the company's holistic approach to business.

"We have built the business on the core values of integrity and respect, and this approach has influenced every aspect of our work and our dealings with clients, vendors and employees," he says.

Pacific Crest's commitment to sustainable design has been recognized by the Environmental Stewardship Program seal of certification administered by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers' Association. This means the company's signature Bellmont Cabinetry (shown here) and semi-custom Amero Cabinet Collection meet or exceed stringent manufacturing criteria.

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These criteria include control of air quality and emission levels; the use of certified and sustainable materials; energy-efficient manufacturing processes; waste and recycle management; and social stewardship.

"The KCMA rating system is based on points, and achieving the ESP seal was an extremely rigorous process," says Bell.

Both Pacific Crest's Bellmont Cabinetry and Amero Cabinet Collection incorporate EPP-certified composite wood panels.

"By their very nature, composite wood panels are among the greenest building materials," says Bell. "They are produced from recycled wood and wood residues that would otherwise be wasted or end up in landfills. They take less energy to process and produce fewer harmful by-products. And they can be reused later, or left to biodegrade naturally."

Eco-friendly initiatives also influence other aspects of the manufacturing process. For example, the company offers a formaldehyde-free plywood box option.

The plywood box is made from Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI)-certified woods. And more than 65% of the hardwoods used for door and drawer faces are certified through another sustainable forestry program.

But Pacific Crest's accountability focus doesn't end with its manufacturing process. The company works closely with several community programs, including Agros International, an organization that has developed a successful model for helping people break the cycle of poverty.

"Our adopted village is La Esperanza in El Salvador," says Bell. "This project has provided us with a wonderful way to give something back and leave the world a better place than we found it."

Agros is focused on improving the living conditions of peasant farmers in Central America. Pacific Crest purchased land in La Esperanza, which was divided up between 25 families. These families now have the opportunity to purchase the land over a 10-year period with low-interest loans. Volunteer teams of workers from Pacific Crest's factory regularly travel to help the community.

And for homeowners there is the added assurance that there is no compromise on quality. Pacific Crest continues to design and build award-winning kitchens for both high and price-sensitive budgets.

For more information or details of a dealer in the western states, contact Pacific Crest Industries, phone (253) 321 3011. Website:www.pacificcrestindustries.com .

For information on Agros International, visitwww.agros.org .

First published date: 01 October 2008

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