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Common green furniture certifications.

Worried about the validity of a manufacturer's green claims? These common logos can give you peace of mind by offering third-party verification of sustainable furniture attributes.


The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) targets human health by enhancing indoor air quality (IAG) and reducing exposure to chemicals and pollutants. The GEI certifies products and materials for low chemical and particle emissions.

GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification specifically limits emissions of total phthalates, consisting of dibutyl (DBP), diethylhexyl (DEHP), diethyl (DEP), dimethyl (DMP), butylbenzyl (BBP), and dioctyl (DOP) phthalates.

NSF/ANSI Standard 336

NSF/ANS1 336: Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric, developed by the public health and safety organization NSF International, addresses the environmental, economic, lifecycle, and social aspects of furnishing fabric products. It includes woven, non-woven, bonded, and knitted fabrics used for upholstery and vertical applications, such as drapery or panel systems fabric.

The NSF/ANS1 336 criteria are divided into categories (e.g. fiber sourcing, water and energy use, recycling practices) with a weighted point system applied to each. Certification is based on point totals to achieve a Compliant Silver, Gold, or Platinum level.

Cradle to Cradle

The Cradle to Cradle Certified program is a multi-attribute eco-label administered by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. It assesses a product's safety to humans and the environment and design for future lifecycles. The program provides guidelines on using safe materials that can be disassembled and recycled as technical nutrients or composted as biological nutrients.

The Cradle to Cradle program evaluates a product's design and manufacturing practices and offers four levels of certification. Each product's materials and manufacturing practices are assessed in five categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship, and Social Responsibility.

SCS Indoor Advantage

The SCS Indoor Advantage certification program certifies compliance with rigorous IAQ emission requirements. The program is designed for interior building materials, furnishings, and finish systems.

Indoor Advantage is based on emission criteria established in the BIFMA Standard for Low-Emitting Office Furniture Systems and Seating (ANSI/BIFMA X7.1) and the USGBC LEED criteria for EQ4.5 (furniture and seating)

Forest Stewardship Council

FSC certification is a voluntary, market-based tool that supports responsible forest management worldwide. FSC-certified products are verified from the forest of origin through the supply chain. The process is carried out by independent certification bodies that have FSC accreditation, ensuring that the forest products are from responsibly harvested and verified sources.

FSC applies to a variety of wood-based products, including building materials, furniture, restroom and cleaning supplies, office paper, cardboard, and flooring.

BIFMA level Certification

Level is a sustainability certification program for furniture. It delivers open and transparent means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of furniture products in the built environment. level scores a company's social actions, energy usage, material selection, and human and ecosystem health impacts.

The level brand uses a numeric marking of 1, 2, or 3 and recognizes a variety of sustainability attributes for materials, such as climate neutrality, recycled content, efficiency of material usage, biodegradability, selection of rapidly renewable materials, and lifecycle assessments.

UL Environment Sustainable Product Certification

Sustainable Product Certifications tell the story of a product's environmental performance throughout its lifecycle. These voluntary, multi-attribute, lifecycle-based environmental certifications indicate that a product has undergone rigorous scientific testing, exhaustive auditing, or both, to prove its compliance with stringent third-party environmental performance standards.

These standards set metrics for a wide variety of criteria, including energy reduction, waste diversion, recyclability, salvaged material usage, site preservation, transportation reduction, and natural resource conservation.
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Date:May 1, 2012
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