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NSF and BIFMA Announce that New Furniture Sustainability Standard is Available for Public Comment

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The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) International and NSF International (NSF) announced that a new Business and Institutional Furniture Sustainability Standard is ready for NSF’s consensus ballot process and the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) public comment period. The BIFMA Sustainability Standard considers all aspects of sustainability including materials and natural resource utilization, energy, renewable energy and greenhouse gas impacts, human and eco-system health, and social responsibility. Modeled after the LEED building rating system, furniture products are evaluated against a variety of credit criteria (after first meeting certain prerequisites), accumulating points toward increasing levels of recognition associated with reduced environmental impact. BIFMA and NSF partnered on the development of this standard over a year ago gathering a broad and diverse group of stakeholders in the consensus development process. ANSI mandates openness, balance, due process, consensus and a right to appeal in the development of consensus standards. Representatives from academia, the architectural and design community, end-users, regulatory agencies, federal and state government, certification bodies, environmental groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), manufacturers, suppliers, product designers and others have been engaged in development of the document. Following two years of development, the standard is now entering the official NSF consensus body vote and an open, ANSI public comment period to last 45 days. The balanced consensus body responsible for the standard will consider all input received during this period. “Once this standard completes the ANSI standards development process and becomes an American National Standard, it will not only help furniture manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to the environment, it will also help consumers understand the sustainable benefits of the furniture they purchase,” said Jane Wilson, NSF Director of Standards. For additional background on certification to the standard, please visit NSF’s website. Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA): Established in 1973, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) International is a not-for-profit organization that provides an effective forum for members to cooperate and collaborate on appropriate industry issues (http://www.bifma.org). The organization develops 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. About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

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