ANN ARBOR and GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) International has collaborated with NSF International, a leading ANSI-accredited developer of more than 75 American National standards, to develop product category rules for the furniture industry. The National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS), founded by NSF, will serve as the Program Operator for developing the furniture Product Category Rules (PCR).
PCRs help meet the growing demand for science-based support to verify environmental product claims and eliminate greenwashing. They define how to conduct a life cycle assessment for a particular product group and what to include in the resulting report. A life cycle assessment (LCA) measures inputs, outputs and environmental impacts of a product across its lifespan, from cradle to grave. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is the ISO-compliant third-party-verified report that functions like a nutrition label to explain the data generated from a life cycle assessment.
Adopted by European countries and growing in recognition in the U.S., PCRs and EPDs provide an international method of communication to compare and report a product’s environmental impact throughout its entire life cycle. According to BIFMA Executive Director Thomas Reardon, “Product Category Rules and, ultimately, Environmental Product Declarations will give customers a uniform way to evaluate the full array of environmental impacts of products.”
“PCRs and EPDs will provide BIFMA member organizations with a verified, scientific and internationally accepted method of supporting their environmental product claims,” says Jane Wilson, NSF International Director of Standards. “BIFMA’s customers will have access to verified life cycle data to use when analyzing and selecting environmentally preferable products.”
In addition to the BIFMA collaboration, the National Center for Sustainability Standards is also working with several flooring trade associations on the first North American PCR for resilient, carpet, laminate, tile, and wood flooring products.
Stakeholders interested in the development of product category rules for furniture products should contact Mindy Costello of NSF’s NCSS at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brad Miller of BIFMA at email@example.com to become part of the process.