UL has awarded a NSF/ANSI 336 Certification to Sunbrella Contract Indoor-Outdoor Upholstery Fabrics. The first consensus-based sustainability assessment for contract fabrics used in furnishings, NSF/ANSI 336 is the standard that has been in development for more than 10 years.
The purpose of the NSF 336 Standard is to address the environmental, economic, and social aspects of furnishings fabric used in commercial spaces. The standard considers criteria from a product’s lifecycle to get a complete picture of the inputs, outputs, and environmental impacts of textile products across a product’s lifespan. The standard is applicable to a variety of contract fabric types used in public spaces, including those used in upholstered furniture; walls, draperies, cubicles, and furniture systems; and decorative bedding.
“UL is pleased to be an official certifier to NSF 336, which provides another way for contract fabric manufacturers to demonstrate their efforts and differentiate their products in the sustainable marketplace,” said Alberto Uggetti, vice president and general manager of UL’s furniture industry division. “Now purchasers and specifiers have more options than ever before to specify products for interior spaces with sustainable attributes backed by third-party certification.”
As a multi-attribute sustainability standard, NSF 336 considers eight sustainability parameters, including:
- Air quality
- Fiber sourcing
- Recycling practices
- Safety of materials
- Social accountability
- Water conservation
- Water quality
Certified fabrics must meet prerequisites for each parameter, and can achieve optional credits, earning up to a maximum of 100 points. Of these points, 50 percent address fabric composition and 50 percent address fabric manufacturing. Based on the total number of points achieved within each category, products are awarded certification levels of compliant, silver, gold, or platinum. Products certified to NSF 336 are certified for five years and undergo yearly reviews to ensure continued compliance to the standard.
Glen Raven’s certified fabrics are the first products UL has certified to the NSF 336 standard. The products are also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which verifies that they have low chemical emissions into indoor air.
“We chose to pursue NSF 336 certification for these 50 patterns of our Sunbrella Contract Fabrics because Glen Raven has been producing products with sustainability in mind for years,” said John Gant, manager of sustainable development for Glen Raven. “By achieving this certification from UL to a multi-attribute sustainability standard, we now have third-party verification of our efforts as desired by our customers and the commercial furniture market.”