BIFMA‘s Sustainability Certification Program for Furniture
What is BIFMA LEVEL®?
Developed by the Business and International Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA), LEVEL® is a multi-attribute standard created to deliver the most open and transparent means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of furniture products in the built environment. It’s the leading multi-attribute sustainability standard within the furniture industry, qualifying certified products to contribute to LEED credits and EPA ecolabel and GSA procurement requirements. Products eligible for LEVEL certification include all business and institutional furniture. This includes but is not limited to moveable walls, systems furniture, desking systems, case goods, tables, seating, and accessories. Certification includes an on-site audit to evaluate supporting data for the credits pursued. The program offers three performance tiers: LEVEL 1, 2, 3.
Why Choose SCS?
SCS, a global leader with 40 years’ experience in third-party certification, provides level certification that enables manufacturers to report their products’ environmental impacts consistently. This allows specifiers to quickly recognize products demonstrating environmental and social qualifications. LEVEL® also provides manufacturers with a comprehensive framework for their sustainability program, helping them establish a path towards continuous improvement. Attaining this certification ensures that manufacturers can:
- Qualify for credit for LEED v4 and other rating systems
- Meet criteria for EPA ecolabel and GSA procurement requirements
- Provide a comprehensive review of their sustainability program
- Establish a consistent metric for easy comparability
- Guide organizations on a path towards continuous improvement
- Program Details
- Meet Specifier Requirements
- Program Documents
Products eligible for LEVEL® certification include all business and institutional furniture. This includes but is not limited to moveable walls, systems furniture, desking systems, casegoods, tables, seating, and accessories.
Qualification for LEVEL® certification under the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard requires conformance with criteria under four specific categories:
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Human and Ecosystem Health
- Social Responsibility
Points earned under each of these categories determine the level of certification earned:
- level 1. The first tier of certified performance
- level 2. Additional milestones of performance achieved
- level 3. The highest level of performance recognized
Certification to LEVEL® attests that the product, the manufacturing facility, and the company responsible for the product brand, have been evaluated by an accredited third-party certification body against the multi-attribute criteria of the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard.
- SCS scopes the project and prepares a proposal.
- Client agrees to scope and signs a work order.
- An SCS account manager is assigned to guide client through the certification process.
- Client completes Data Request Form, identifying credits to be pursued and submits to auditor along with supporting documentation.
- Once sufficient data is collected, an onsite audit is scheduled.
- The SCS auditor conducts an onsite audit.
- Onsite audits typically take 4-6 hours per facility.
- Client responds to any non-conformities or new information requests.
- The SCS auditor prepares a draft Assessment Report that details the findings of the audit, including nonconformities, and opportunities for improvement.
- An SCS reviewer conducts a final review of the draft Assessment Report and makes the certification decision.
- Upon successful certification, client is listed in SCS Green Products Guide, the levelcertified.org website, and is granted the right to use the approved level® logo.
- Annual surveillance audits of a sampling of credits is required along with full scale renewal every 3 years.
Depending on the credits earned, LEVEL® certified products can support LEED achievement of:
- LEED 2009 or V4 Pilot Credit 112
- LEVEL® certified products contribute to achievement
- LEED V4 MR Credit Building Product Disclosure & Optimization – Material Ingredients
- LEVEL® certified products achieving 3 points in LEVEL® credit 188.8.131.52 contribute to achievement
EPA Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing
- LEVEL® is approved to meet furniture purchasing requirements for U.S. government agencies established by the EPA.
- EPA’s criteria are intended to help federal purchasers identify and procure environmentally sustainable products and services.
- Qualifies for credit for LEED v4 and other rating systems
- Meets criteria for EPA ecolabel and GSA procurement requirements
- Provides a comprehensive review of your sustainability program
- Establishes a consistent metric for easy comparability
- Guides organizations on a path towards continuous improvement
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