Apply for Certification
Complete and submit an SCS Application Form. From this, SCS scopes the project and prepares a proposal and work order with a timeline and quote. Upon your approval and signing of the work order, an SCS account manager is assigned to guide you through the certification process.
An SCS auditor reviews product data, corporate documentation, the manufacturing process, product formulation, and test data, and evaluates the need for an onsite audit. Once sufficient data are collected, the onsite audit is scheduled.
An auditor will conduct an onsite audit if the auditor determines the sites require one. The auditor will observe your operation and interact with your technical staff to obtain any additional information needed to reach an accurate and impartial evaluation.
A product is submitted to an SCS-approved lab for testing to ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 and/or CDPH Standard Method V1.1 (California Section 01350). Whenever feasible samples will be collected by an SCS auditor during the onsite audit.
The SCS auditor issues a summary report for any conformance issues found. You respond with corrective actions, and may also comment and responses to the information contained in the report and auditor’s conclusions.
Auditor Assessment Report and Recommendations
The SCS auditor prepares an Assessment Report detailing the audit findings, including data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement.
An SCS reviewer conducts a final review of the Assessment Report and makes the certification decision. If certification is granted, SCS issues to your company the certificate and final report. Once certified, your company is listed in SCS Green Products Guide, and you are granted the right to use the approved Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold label, consistent with SCS guidelines.
Certification Maintenance and Renewal
Annual desk reviews of the quality system and product performance are required under the standard and are conducted to maintain your certification and support continual improvement. Any renewal testing required will be confirmed by the auditor during the evaluation process consistent with the Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold standard.
What types of products are eligible for certification?
SCS Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold – Furniture:
Includes all types of interior office, healthcare, and classroom furniture.
SCS Indoor Advantage Gold - Building Materials: Includes interior building materials such as architectural coatings, paints, sealants, adhesives, wall coverings, floor coverings, ceiling tiles, and wall paneling used in public and commercial office buildings, schools, medical buildings, single-family residences and other building types.
What does it take to get certified?
Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold products must undergo an evaluation process, which includes a review of the product’s formulation and the manufacturing site’s document control system, and product’s emissions testing.
What VOCs are tested for the Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold emissions test?
Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold tests for 35 individual Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) specified by the California Standard Method for VOC Emissions Testing and Evaluation (Standard Method V1.1), otherwise known as CA Section 01350.
In addition, furniture products are also assessed for compliance according to the ANSI/BIFMA Furniture Sustainability Standard, credits 7.6.2 and 7.6.3, which is a similar list to the CA Section 01350, with additional compounds such as 1-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidinone
What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?
The US EPA defines VOCs as “any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions." VOC gases are emitted from certain solids or liquids, and include a variety of organic chemicals, some of which may have short-term and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.
Do you test for phthalates?
The Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold standard is a VOC emission based standard for indoor air quality and does not include phthalates within its scope.
Can SCS tell me a product’s VOC emissions profile that I plan to purchase?
A client’s emissions results for products are confidential. SCS’ may not disclose or distribute confidential data on the client’s behalf. For specific emissions data requests, you may contact the manufacturer directly.
Where can I find certified Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold products?
The SCS Green Products Guide has a complete and searchable list of all Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certified products.
How much does Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification cost?
The cost of Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification is determined by the specific scope of products and operations to be assessed. To receive a quote for Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification, please contact an account executive.
Does SCS provide private label Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification for distributors?
Yes, SCS will work with the distributors and the Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certified manufacturers to undergo private label certification. Please contact an account executive to begin the private label certification process.
I use an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to manufacture my products. Can I still qualify for Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification?
Yes, you may either encourage your manufacturer to become Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certified and then apply for a private label certification based on the OEM’s certificate, or you may pursue certification independently and use the OEM as your product’s manufacturing site.
Does SCS provide certification support?
SCS provides on-going program support, including staff assistance, marketing and promotional support, and information about new or revised requirements. Certified clients will receive information about the logo approval system and use of SCS trademarks for both on-product and off-product promotions.
Why is third-party certification important?
Third-party certification assures customers that a product’s environmental claims have been validated by a qualified, independent, and objective organization. All products are measured against the same criteria, making product comparisons possible. Third-party certification encourages transparency and builds trust among consumers.
Can I keep my lab report?
Yes. All results reported by the lab for certification are distributed to both SCS and the client.
What is the relationship between SCS Global Services and its scientific partners?
SCS is a third-party certification body who partners with experts in the field of indoor air quality. As a chartered Benefit Corporation, SCS reflects its corporate commitment to creating a material positive impact on society and the environment, and takes into account the impact of its efforts on workers, the community, the environment, and shareholders.
SCS has formed relationships with its approved laboratories who are leaders in indoor air quality and product testing. Our laboratory partners include: Berkeley Analytical Associates, MAS, TUV Rheinland – Hong Kong, Intertek, Eurofins, and Eco-INSTITUT.
SCS has strong industry networks with leading green building experts, such as BIFMA, RFCI, ILFI, Well Building Institute, and CHPS, who have provided feedback and review of SCS standards.