Build Green with Environmentally-Friendly Forest Products | Tolko

Our commitment to quality is about more than giving our customers wood products they can depend on.

It’s about creating a robust, creative company culture that has a positive impact on our surroundings. That’s why we are committed to a sustainable business model that balances environmental, social, and economic performance.

This commitment to the environment ensures the resources we manage today will contribute to future generations tomorrow. Because at Tolko, we know it’s about more than making money today – it’s about planning for a sustainable, profitable future for tomorrow.

Green Building Standards

In the pursuit of our environmental commitment, we’ve met a variety of world-leading environmental standards, from forest management through to the manufacturing of environmentally-friendly products. That includes meeting international Green Building standards, including LEED and Green Globes, for all our wood products.

Our products earn the certified wood credit under these standards through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and our Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) certification. SFI fully qualifies under the LEED standard via the LEED Alternative Compliance Path process. In addition, our panel products qualify for incremental LEED credits under the low emitting materials requirements.

Tolko Products qualify for LEED Indoor Air Quality credits due to the use of only low-emitting moisture resistant adhesives.

Tolko adheres to PEFC Chain of Custody (COC) standards. PEFC Chain of Custody establishes the link from the forest to the market, tracking forest and tree based products from sustainable sources to the final product. PEFC certified products come from certified, sustainably managed forests.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)

The Canadian Wood Council provides third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Transparency Briefs that describe the environmental performance of wood products manufactured in North America. Tolko Products are included in these EPDs and may gain additional credits recognizing the Life Cycle Analysis data available to builders, designers and consumers.

These EPDs can be viewed and downloaded at: The Canadian Wood Council - EPDs

Building for the Greenest Future Possible

The best business model is always based on sustainability. By working with our employees, our communities, and our customers, we can create innovative products that will continue to serve customers now and into the future.

Understanding Formaldehyde

When our customers see that our wood products contain formaldehyde, they naturally have questions. To help all our customers understand the role formaldehyde plays in our Oriented Strand Board (OSB), Plywood, and Engineered Wood Products (EWP) production, we’ve collected a few questions and answers to help you understand what formaldehyde is, why it’s in our wood products, and the effects it will have on you.

What is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a chemical made of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon and is the product of many natural processes. Formaldehyde is present in naturally high levels in many foods, including apples and onions – it’s even a natural building block in the human body. In fact, human blood normally contains about 3 parts per million (ppm) of formaldehyde.

How Much Formaldehyde is in Wood?

All wood species, and therefore all wood products, contain and emit small amounts of formaldehyde. Because formaldehyde occurs naturally in wood, there is no such thing as “formaldehyde-free” wood. An oak tree, for example, emits 0.009 ppm of formaldehyde. By itself, this is a very low quantity, but densely wooded areas can have much higher concentrations. It follows that any wood cut from that oak tree also contains small amounts of formaldehyde, as do all wood products.

Our structural wood panels, including OSB, Plywood, and EWP, are manufactured with moisture resistant adhesives and the finished product emissions are similar to raw wood. When tested using methods that apply to other regulated products, Tolko OSB, Plywood, and EWP products are way below the permitted levels, and therefore are exempt from North American Formaldehyde Emissions Regulations.

Products manufactured to Voluntary Product Standard PS 1, Structural Plywood and Voluntary Product Standard PS 2, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels, have such low emission levels that they are exempt from the leading formaldehyde emission standards and regulations. Read more at: APA Publication J330.

What Type of Resin is Used in Tolko OSB, Plywood, and EWP?

Our OSB, Plywood, and EWP products are manufactured using MDI and/or phenolic resins which makes these products low formaldehyde emitting and exempt from CARB and TSCA Title VI.

Compare Tolko OSB, Plywood and EWP to the Worldwide Formaldehyde Standards


Standard CARB (U.S.A.) HUD (U.S.A.) EPA TSCA Title VI F**** (JAPAN) APA G-5 PR-E710 Tolko OSB
OSB Maximum Emission LevelPS 2 OSB is EXEMPTPS 2 OSB is EXEMPTPS 2 OSB is EXEMPT0.30 mg/L0.30 mg/L<0.06 mg/L


Standard CARB (U.S.A.) HUD (U.S.A.) EPA TSCA Title VI F**** (JAPAN) APA G-5 PR-E710 Tolko Plywood
Plywood Maximum Emission LevelPS 1 Ply is EXEMPTPS 1 Ply is EXEMPTPS 1 Ply is EXEMPT0.30 mg/L0.124 mg/L0.01 to 0.04 ppm
NOTE: 1 part per million (ppm) is roughly equivalent to 1 milligram per litre (mg/L)


Standard CARB (U.S.A.) HUD (U.S.A.) EPA TSCA Title VI F**** (JAPAN) APA G-5 PR-E710 Tolko EWP
EWP Maximum Emission LevelASTM D5456 EWP is EXEMPTASTM D5456 EWP is EXEMPTASTM D5456 EWP is EXEMPT0.30 mg/L0.30 mg/L<0.06 mg/L

APA Qualified Structural Panels with Low Formaldehyde Emissions

Panels labeled as G5 have qualified for low formaldehyde emissions based on ISO 12460-4 and the bond performance requirements of PS 2. The G5 rating is a formaldehyde upper emission level defined as: an average of 0.20 mg per litre, individual specimen of 0.30 mg per litre. APA* Certified products qualify for exemption from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) due to the use of low emitting adhesives that meet PS 1 and PS 2.

*APA – The Engineered Wood Association was formerly known as the American Plywood Association.

Low-Emitting Materials EQ Credit - LEED v4.1

Tolko products qualify for low-emitting EQ credits for composite wood under LEED v4.1.

"Wood structural panel manufactured according to PS 1-09 or PS 2-10 (or one of the standards considered by CARB to be equivalent to PS 1 or PS 2) and labeled bond classification Exposure 1 or Exterior." - LEED v4.1 page 124

Formaldehyde and LEED Indoor Air Quality Rating

Tolko OSB, Plywood, and EWP products are eligible for points under LEED v3 and LEED v4 for Indoor Air Quality. LEED Professionals please refer to: LEED v4.1 from the US Green Building Council website.


An Alternative to Landfills

Research by the University of Georgia and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center report that engineered wood product waste generated on construction sites can be ground up and used as effective and safe mulch. This is an innovative alternative to burdening landfills and paying for the disposal of unused wood building materials.