BIFMA Introduces New Sustainability Standard


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) International, the trade association for the commercial furniture industry, representing the leading firms in the contract furniture market, recently announced the premier 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 standard and undergoing an independent, third-party certification process can achieve the level conformance mark. NSF International 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,” says 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 Company, 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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Established in 1973, BIFMA’s mission is to lead, advocate, inform, and develop standards for the North American office and institutional furniture industry. As a not-for-profit organization, BIFMA provides an effective forum for Members to cooperate and collaborate on appropriate industry issues. We develop voluntary product and industry standards that support safe, healthy and sustainable environments; publish key industry statistics; advocate for legislation and government regulation that have a direct impact on the health of the industry; and facilitate meaningful dialog and education to support our core services and the industry we serve.