CALPIA Achieves Highest Standard in Sustainability in Manufactured Systems Furniture


The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) received the highest standard of certification for sustainability under the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA), a leader in creating international standards for the creation and safety of furniture products.

CALPIA’s Manufactured Systems Furniture (MSF) lines of Century Systems and the soon-to- be released line of Legion were both awarded level®, BIFMA‘s sustainability certification program for furniture.   The two furniture lines are manufactured at Avenal State Prison.

“CALPIA prides itself on being a self-sustaining, self-supporting business that provides offenders productive work and training opportunities,” said CALPIA’s General Manager and Executive Officer of the Prison Industry Board, Chuck Pattillo. “By receiving this certification, it shows that CALPIA is committed not only to helping offenders, but to supporting industry trends that benefit the environment.”

The level® program was created to provide the most comprehensive, unbiased, and transparent means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of commercial furniture products.

There are only 61 companies globally who have submitted products for this certification. Businesses are evaluated on social actions, energy usage, material selection, and human and ecosystem health impacts.

Within CALPIA’s operations, an Energy Management System was established that includes processes to improve energy efficiency, use, and consumption.  Implementation of the system is intended to lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other related environmental impacts and energy costs through systematic management of energy.

Also, CALPIA implemented a “Design for the Environment” (DFE) program at Avenal State Prison.  The DFE program shall, at a minimum, consist of the following elements: renewable materials; recycled materials; recyclable and biodegradable materials; end of life management; water management and energy efficiency.

CALPIA is a self-supporting state entity that provides training and productive work assignments for CDCR offenders. CALPIA receives all of its revenue from the sale of goods and services it produces. The recidivism rate among CALPIA’s programs is 26-38 percent lower than State’s average prison population, a success attributed to the job skills and industry certifications obtained by those offenders participating in the program.

CONTACT: Michele Kane
 (916) 358-1802