GRAND RAPIDS, MI — BIFMA Intl, a trade association for the commercial furniture industry, on June 1 announced the premiere of the product certification program, “level.”

“level” will verify conformance to the first fully transparent, multi-attribute furniture sustainability standard addressing material utilization, energy and atmosphere impacts, human and ecosystem health and social responsibility. Manufacturers evaluating products to the BIFMA e3 sustainability standard and undergoing an independent, third-party certification process can achieve the “level” conformance mark. NSF Intl (NSF) and Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) are the first third-party certification bodies to be recognized under the “level” certification program. The standard is modeled after LEED, with specific prerequisites, optional credits, and three conformance levels, with “level 3” certification being the highest.

“For the past three years we have been following the ANSI process, working with stakeholders and experts from inside and outside the industry to create a standard that can be used by all furniture producers,” said Tom Reardon, BIFMA executive director. “We also understand the importance of an independent evaluation and conformance verification process and invite additional certification bodies to participate in the program. We have to give our customers a simple and comprehensive way to understand how products contribute to green buildings and sustainability as a whole.”

BIFMA member firms Allsteel, Gunlocke, HON Co., Herman Miller, Kimball Office, National Office Furniture and Steelcase have products that meet the standard’s requirements and have received third party certification by either NSF or SCS. Each firm will be showcasing their “level” certified products at NeoCon this year.

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