Purchasers of office and institutional furniture now recognize level®, BIFMA's sustainability certification program for furniture, as the benchmark of sustainability performance. Certification to level® assures your customers that you are committed to environmental and social leadership practices throughout the product life cycle, including your own operations and your supply chain.
Examples of furniture 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:
Points earned under each of these categories determine the level of certification earned:
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 th ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard.
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BIFMA level® certification benefits and milestones
An SCS technical associate provides you with a Data Request Form (DRF) that will be used to define the certification scope and assemble supporting evidence for submission to SCS. We review the submitted documentation and assess your readiness for an onsite audit. Once sufficient data is collected, an auditor is assigned.
The auditor conducts an on-site audit as a means to substantiate the conformance path provided. The auditor interacts with your technical staff to clarify and obtain any additional information that might prove essential to reaching an accurate supportable evaluation.
Draft Assessment Report
The auditor writes a draft assessment report that details the findings of the audit, which includes data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement.
Internal Technical Review
A qualified SCS representative reviews the report, making any necessary corrections or changes before the report is sent to the client.
You respond to any non-conformities with a Corrective Action Plan. You may also make comments and responses to the information contained in the report and the conclusions drawn by the auditor.
SCS conducts a final technical review of the assessment report and makes the final certification decision. If certification is granted, SCS issues the certificate and final report to your facility or operation. Once certified, your company is listed in the Green Products Certificate Database on the SCS website.
Certification Maintenance and Renewal
Periodic audits as required under the standard are conducted to maintain your certification and support continual improvement.
Depending on the credits earned in the level assessment process, the following points may be available through green building rating systems:
level 1, 2, or 3 certified products (ANSI/BIFMA e3-2014e)
Credit 5.2 Life Cycle Assessment (ANSI/BIFMA e3-2014e):
Credit 5.5, Rapidly Renewable Materials (ANSI/BIFMA e3-2014e):
Credit 5.6, Bio-based Renewable Materials-Sustainable Wood (ANSI/BIFMA e3-2014e):
Credit 5.7, Recycled Content (ANSI/BIFMA e3-2014e)
Credit 188.8.131.52 Product Level Chemicals, Advanced level (ANSI/BIFMA e3-2014e)
Credit 7.6, Low Emitting Furniture (ANSI/BIFMA e3-2014e)
Certification to level® under the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard: