EPA Releases Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing

02/02/2017 |

Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing include NSF standards for carpet, resilient flooring, textiles, and furniture

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing, which include four sustainability standards developed by global public health organization NSF International.

The recommendations are made in part to help federal purchasers identify and procure environmentally sustainable products and services to meet the goals of Executive Order (EO) 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade. These latest recommendations focus on facility interiors categories — carpet, flooring, and furnishings.

The EPA’s recommendations are based on an independent assessment of private sector environmental performance standards and ecolabels compared against the EPA guidelines for environmental performance standards and ecolabels.

The recommendations include the following standards developed or co-developed by NSF International:

  • NSF/ANSI 140: Sustainability Assessment for Carpet
  • NSF/ANSI 332: Sustainability Assessment for Resilient Floor Coverings
  • NSF/ANSI 336: Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric
  • ANSI/BIFMA e3-2010 Furniture Sustainability Standard, a standard co-written with the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association

The final recommendations provide a process for decision-making that favors products certified to multi-attribute, life-cycle based sustainability standards. If products certified to these multi-attribute standards are not available, then acceptable single-attribute standards are recommended.

The NSF/ANSI standards included in the recommendations are American National Standards facilitated by the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS) using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) stakeholder consensus process.  This method encourages participation from industry, academia, government, purchasers, and other interested parties and helps ensure a broad range of stakeholder interests are represented in the standards development process.

The NSF standards are point-based and provide a ranking of product criteria achievement (conformant, silver, gold, platinum). The BIFMA e3 Standard awards points to attain level® 1, 2 or 3 certification, with level® 3 being the highest achievement. Categories of criteria vary by standard, but generally cover materials, manufacturing processes (inputs and outputs), a company’s social accountability or governance policies, and end-of-product-life management. These multi-attribute criteria covering the lifecycle of a product make the standards robust in measuring the sustainability attributes of a product and the sustainability intent of the manufacturing organization.

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See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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