Two of the largest business furnishings makers, OFS Systems and National Furniture, have made the level™ rating system a key part of their operation.

Last week Vanessa Hartke from OFS Systems, and Mendy Claridge from National Furniture, explained how level has become part of their companies' go-to-market strategy, and some of the internal impacts on production. Both presenters talked about and showed their factory floors.

The occasion was a Feb. 16 webcast panel (you can watch the recorded session on demand) which also included Tom Reardon, who heads the Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Assn. International - the organization that established level™ in the first place.

Having moderated the one hour session I am a bit more enlightened on the function and value of level™ in the marketplace. It brings clarity to the buying community who, depending on their organization needs, must weigh the wide spectrum of green certification and gradation systems.

With level™ points are allocated for commodities such as wood and coating; and points are allocated for transportation and process; and a number of other criteria. It assigns a value to process and raw material in the product.

There are three degrees of level™. And both Vannessa Hartke and Mendy Claridge discussed how the production process is affected by their firms' commitment to level™.

It is a complex subject, and Tom Reardon of BIFMA did a really good job distilling it for the presentation, which is free - and you can watch it right now. Tom presents the explanatory tables, talks about various green schemes, and al three presenters addressed live questions from the audience.

 You can also learn more about level™ and see videos and get more details at

In a Feb. 16 webcast on BIFMA level™
almost 80 percent of the audience said more
customers are asking for green certification of
wood manufacturing processes or products.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they
have no issues finding a consistent supply
of green certified lumber raw materials; but
about 25 percent do have trouble.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.