As you shop for office furniture—especially commercial-grade office furniture—you’ll likely come across terms you’ve never heard before. As sustainable products become more popular and we all do our part to contribute to being more intentional stewards of the planet (you can read more about NBF’s sustainability pledge here), furniture manufacturers are partnering more often with third-party agencies to certify the safety and environmental impact (or lack thereof) of their products.
A Greenguard certified product has been tested to ensure that it contributes to and supports better indoor air quality by meeting acceptable pollutant standards. Indoor air pollution has been shown to adversely affect health. Selecting furniture that betters the indoor air quality and limits pollutants is important for healthcare settings, schools, homes, and office environments.
Learn more about the Greenguard certification program.
Intertek Green Leaf VOC Certified
Products with the Green Leaf VOC certification have met the furniture emission standards set by Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This certification means that the furniture has been tested for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
VOCs have high vapor pressure at room temperature and can be both man-made and natural. Since indoor VOC emissions can pose long-term health threats to humans and the environment, they are closely regulated by BIFMA and LEED standards to keep them at a safe level. Intertek Green Leaf VOC Certified products are at a safe and environmentally acceptable level.
Learn more about Intertek’s Green Leaf certification.
ANSI/BIFMA LEVEL 1, 2, and 3
ANSI/BIFMA LEVEL certifications are based on the ANSI/BIFMA e3 standard, specifically created for the furniture industry. An independent third-party body must be contacted to achieve level certification. These third-party certification bodies then evaluate the products using the ANSI/BIFMA Furniture Sustainability Standards to determine compliance and an appropriate LEVEL certification.
LEVEL certifications include LEVEL 1, LEVEL 2, and LEVEL 3. ANSI/BIFMA Furniture Sustainability Standards evaluate 3 categories—product, facility, and organization. Three major impact areas are considered within each category—environmental, health and wellness, and social.
Learn more about ANSI/BIFMA certification.
NSF Protocol P391: General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Services and Service Providers Certification
NBF is the first furniture service provider to earn this distinguished certification. This certification is based on a point-based system, similar to LEED. Three key areas are evaluated: the environmental impact of the service provider, the labor impact/the health, safety, and employment practices of the service provider, and the community assessment/social responsibility impact of the service provider. NSF certification shows a dedication to sustainability and shows consumers that the service provider meets substantial and rigorous sustainability requirements.
Learn more about NSF certification.
Many furniture manufacturers have begun to prioritize sustainability. These manufacturers have made great efforts to ensure that their furniture is crafted from raw materials from carefully managed farms or plantations. With managed farms and plantations, the raw materials are taken in an environmentally friendly way without any fear of deforestation. Managed farms and plantations also avoid using slow-growing woods like teak, mahogany, and redwood. Their slow-growing nature makes them much less renewable than other types of trees. Martin, one of our most popular brands, implements these sustainable business practices.
SCS Indoor Advantage
This certification is an ANSI accredited program and showcases products that support a healthy indoor environment. Products must meet stringent indoor air quality standards to qualify for certification. SCS Indoor Advantage certification is not specific to furniture products and even applies to flooring.
Learn more about SCS Indoor Advantage.
Going green doesn’t have to be difficult when it comes to your office furniture. At NBF, we aim to make it easy by dealing with manufacturers and offering brands that are committed to sustainability.