From the time of our founding in 1937, Galleher Corporation has focused on innovation and service. Over the years, this approach has paid off: Galleher has grown to become the largest distributor of hardwood flooring on the West coast and has expanded our product offerings to include rubber, Bamboo, Cork, laminate, luxury vinyl and stone composites.
This same pioneering and service-oriented attitude is what underlies our commitment to products that protect human and environmental health. We understand that leadership and social responsibility go hand in hand. This is why Galleher is at the forefront of efforts to address chemicals of concern, combat illegal logging and promote sustainability in the wood flooring industry.
We offer a complete line of 'green' and LEED-compliant wood flooring products, as well as eco-friendly companion products such as adhesives, finishes and underlayments.
We demonstrate our commitment to responsible forestry by offering an extensive selection of products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC-C092805). All of Galleher’s facilities are FSC Chain of Custody certified.
Many of our products have recycled content or are reclaimed or salvaged.
We offer Bamboo and Cork flooring from the world's leading manufacturers of these products. Although they originate from very different sources, these materials have one thing in common: if properly harvested, they are rapidly and perpetually renewable.
We are industry leaders in mitigating the risk that imported wood may be illegally harvested, per the terms of the U.S. Lacey Act. Our Lacey compliance protocols are among the strictest in the industry and include measures like the performance of random isotopic testing on samples to verify the wood's specific region of origin.
Our flooring meets the highest standards for indoor air quality. We go above and beyond the law, offering products that are FloorScore certified and conducting our own independent testing to ensure that everything we sell falls well below the emission limits set by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board.
Galleher is among a handful of flooring companies that are actively participating in the movement toward addressing chemicals of concern by developing Health Product Declarations for all products in our in-house brands. We believe that customers deserve to know exactly what goes into every product we sell.
To make your search for Green and LEED-compliant products faster and easier, here is a list of all that we offer and their environmental attributes, certifications, disclosures and the LEED credits that they contribute to.
Galleher’s commitments to environmental stewardship and leadership are fulfilled by staff who are among the wood flooring industry’s foremost experts. We stand ready to support our customers and other stakeholders in understanding the Lacey Act & illegal logging, CARB, sustainable forestry & FSC® (FSC-C092805), LEED, and other key environmental issues and regulations impacting our industry.
Jason Grant, Environmental Compliance Manager
Jason has over 20 years experience in green wood and green building. In 1992, he co-founded EcoTimber, one of the first companies in the world to bring sustainable wood products to market. As a consultant, Jason has worked with many of the leading companies in the wood flooring industry, as well as the National Wood Flooring Association and numerous non-profit organizations that work to promote and verify responsible, legal forestry. Jason is a LEED AP (BD+C) and is an authority on how wood and related products are credited under LEED.
RECYCLED, RECLAIMED & SALVAGED PRODUCTS
Many of the flooring products offered by Galleher are from recycled, reclaimed or salvaged sources.
Recycled Content: Most recycled-content wood incorporates by-products of another manufacturing processes (such as sawdust) and is called "pre-consumer" content. In addition to wood, Galleher also offers other products with recycled content such as rubber flooring and underlayment.
Reclaimed & Salvaged Wood: These terms are often used interchangeably, but "reclaimed" wood more often refers to already-manufactured wood products that are re-manufactured into new ones - such as timbers from the deconstruction of old buildings that are re-milled into flooring - while "salvaged" wood more often refers either to the straight reuse of wood products (salvaged doors) or to products made from logs that may be salvaged from a variety of sources: street trees, river and lake bottoms, orchards, etc.
SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY & FOREST CERTIFICATION
Galleher is committed to promoting sustainable forest management and the ethical harvesting of the world's most environmentally friendly flooring material: wood.
Forest certification is a voluntary process intended to ensure consumers that the wood products they buy are backed by responsible forest practices. The Forest Stewardship Council® is a not-for-profit organization that is widely recognized as the gold standard in forest certification.
The purpose of forest certification is to promote sustainable forestry. Responsible forestry has social and economic as well as environmental components. Among other things, well-managed forestry operations take into account ecosystem health, wildlife habitat, environmentally sensitive areas, water and soil quality, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
Promoting sustainable forestry is key to saving forests. Building markets for responsible forest products creates incentives for people to preserve forests as forest instead of converting them to other uses such as agriculture and cattle pasture.
RAPIDLY-RENEWABLE BAMBOO & CORK
Galleher offers Bamboo and Cork flooring from the world's leading manufacturers of these products. Although they originate from very different sources, these materials have one thing in common: if properly harvested, they can be renewed perpetually and remarkably quickly.
Most of the Bamboo flooring available today originates in China and is made from Moso bamboo, a species of giant timber bamboo that can reach heights of up to 92 feet. Moso bamboo grows incredibly quickly: up to 4 feet in a single day! It takes about 5 years for bamboo to reach full maturity, while traditional hardwoods take much longer.
Besides being fast-growing, bamboo can be replenished without the need to replant because the root system is left intact when it is harvested. The bamboo forests in central China that are the source for our Bamboo flooring have been managed by local people for centuries, typically harvesting on 5-6 year rotations where 20% of the bamboo is removed from the forest annually. In its natural environment, it needs no irrigation, no pesticides and no fertilizer. In addition, bamboo forests can sequester more carbon than a hardwood forest.
Finally, not all Bamboo flooring is created equal. Galleher has an in-house expert who ensures that we source our Bamboo flooring only from the top echelon of manufacturers. In Bamboo, there is a wide range of quality among different manufacturers, and there is nothing eco-friendly about having to tear out a floor that has failed.
While bamboo is technically a grass, cork is the bark of a type of oak tree - the Cork Oak -- that is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. To produce cork for flooring and other purposes, these trees are not cut down; rather, the bark is stripped away. It regenerates quickly and the cork can be re-harvested once per decade starting when the trees are about 25 years old. The trees live for about 300 years, so this process can be repeated many times over the life of the tree. Cork Oaks are a key part of a unique habitat in the Iberian Peninsula that provides refuge for a number of endangered species.
Cork has other unique attributes and benefits. It is easily recycled; it is a great sound and thermal insulator, reducing noise and vibration and helping retain indoor heat; it naturally repels dust, germs and mold; and its honeycomb-like structure acts as a shock absorber, making it soft and comfortable to walk on.
COMBATING ILLEGAL LOGGING PER THE LACEY ACT
Galleher has a firm policy of sourcing legal wood in compliance with the US Lacey Act and is an industry leader in managing and mitigating the risk that wood may be illegal.
Illegal logging is a major problem in parts of the developing world that still have large areas of forest and where law enforcement and governance is weak, including Latin America, SE Asia, Africa, parts of Eastern Europe, and the Russian Far East. Its environmental impacts include the loss of habitats and biodiversity: illegal logging is threatening the survival of some of the world's most endangered primates including orangutans in Indonesia and the Siberian tiger. Illegal logging is also linked to deforestation which has implications for climate change. Illegal logging in just nine forest producer countries is estimated to have released 210 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2013.
The Lacey Act is a United States law passed in 1900 that bans trafficking in illegal wildlife. In 2008, the Act was amended to include plants and plant products such as wood and paper. This was the world's first ban on trade in illegally sourced wood products, but it has been followed by similar legislation in the European Union, Japan and Australia.
Galleher is committed to strict adherence to Lacey Act provisions governing the importation, purchase, or sale of illegal wood and has dedicated staff responsible for implementing our Lacey Act policy and procedures. This entails continuous and thorough efforts to exercise "due diligence" in avoiding wood that has been illegally harvested or traded. Galleher works closely with its suppliers, both foreign and domestic, to help them improve their own "due diligence" programs, and is recognized as one of the companies at the forefront of efforts in this area.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY, FORMALDEHYDE & OTHER VOCs
Galleher only sells engineered wood flooring products that meet the formaldehyde emissions limits established by the Environmental Protection Agency and pioneered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) - the strictest in the world. In addition, most of our engineered wood flooring products are certified by FloorScore, the most recognized indoor air quality (IAQ) standard for hard surface flooring materials.
The importance of indoor air quality gained attention with the identification of sick building syndrome, a combination of ailments caused by the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from some types of building materials. One of the main VOCs implicated in unhealthy indoor air quality is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde gas can pose serious health risks when it occurs in high concentrations in an indoor environment.
The state of California established the CARB regulation to reduce public exposure to formaldehyde. It set strict emission performance standards on various types of composite wood products, including most engineered wood flooring. The EPA subsequently extended CARB's requirements across the country, seeking to ensure that all finished goods sold in the U.S. use composite wood products that have been tested and certified as compliant at the mill that makes them. As an added precaution, Galleher independently tests samples of our imported products in an American lab to verify ongoing EPA/CARB compliance.
FloorScore provides expanded assurance for people concerned about IAQ. To get certified under the FloorScore standard, products are tested by independent labs which verify that they meet emission limits for 35 individual VOCs (including formaldehyde) specified by the California Standard Method for VOC Emissions Testing
TRANSPARENCY & CHEMICALS OF CONCERN
Galleher is among a handful of flooring companies that are actively participating in the movement toward material ingredient transparency.
We understand that there is growing demand for full transparency about all of the chemicals that are used in products so that those that may be harmful to human and ecological health can be identified and avoided. This is why we are members of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative and are publishing Health Product Declarations (HPDs) for a growing number of the products we sell - publicly disclosing their chemical ingredients so that our customers can make informed decisions about what they are putting into their homes and offices.
Key brands, including Monarch Plank and Reward Flooring, disclose their contents so that our customers can make informed decisions about what they are putting into their homes and offices. HPDs are available upon request.
For more than a decade, the green building movement has been a major force in California and across the rest of the country and much of the world. At the center of this movement are green building rating systems that organize and codify green design and construction practices by creating one or more rating systems, and by far and away the best know and most widely used is LEED.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a family of green building rating systems that cover a variety of types of commercial and residential construction. LEED is currently the most popular green building program in the world. It was created and is administered by U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED certifies buildings, not products or manufacturers. LEED is organized into a number of broad categories (e.g. Sustainable Sites, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality). Each category contains numerous credits that relate to a specific approach, technology, or product that falls logically under that broad heading. And each credit contains one or more points that can be earned by meeting the credit requirements.
A building can get LEED certified if it earns a certain number of LEED points.
There are different levels of LEED certification depending on how many points the project earns (LEED Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum), and there are many points that the project team can choose from as they design the building and plan which level of certification they want to attain.
A flooring product might help a building qualify for one or more LEED points, but a single product doesn’t guarantee that the building gets the point because the point is awarded based on how products from that category of materials were used throughout the entire building.
Also, a project team may decide not to pursue the credit that is relevant to the category of materials in question, in which case the product selections in that category may not matter, even though the building is still going for LEED certification.
Being aware of LEED and how it works can help give you credibility with your customers and gain access to a rapidly growing sector of the market.
The Evolution of LEED
LEED evolves with time and has gone through a number of major revisions which have produced different versions of the rating system. The version that most LEED projects are still being built to is LEED 2009, also known as LEEDv3. The latest version is LEEDv4. As of October 2016, all new LEED projects will need to register under LEEDv4, but because of the lag time between when a project is registered and when it’s built, a large number of buildings will be certified to LEED 2009 standards for a number of years to come.
Galleher offers a wide variety of wood flooring products that are genuinely FSC certified (FSC ® C092805) . We are committed to supporting and promoting sustainable forest management and the ethical harvesting of the world’s most environmentally friendly flooring material: wood.
NOTE: Since FSC-certified products aren’t always in stock, it’s best to allow some lead time when ordering them from us.