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Product Category Rules Verify Environmental Claims

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Environment, Interiors

Tagged: , , , , ,

Published on June 28, 2012 with No Comments

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) has collaborated with NSF International, an independent global organization that writes standards, tests, and certifies products for the commercial furnishing, construction, food, water, and consumer goods industries to develop a Product Category Rule (PCR) for the seating industry. This seating PCR provides a science-based and internationally recognized method for reporting the environmental impact of seating products throughout their entire life cycle.

PCRs define how to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for a particular product group and what to include in the resulting report, called an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). LCAs measure inputs, outputs, and environmental impacts of a product across its lifespan, from cradle to grave. The EPD is the third-party verified report that may function like a nutrition label to explain the data generated from a life cycle assessment.

The seating PCR was established in accordance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025) through the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS). The NCSS used an open stakeholder process to develop the seating PCR with participation from an expert panel of seating manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, and end users.

“We are pleased to partner with NSF International in developing PCRs for the seating industry. NSF is an expert in developing rigorous and science-based PCRs that will help move the industry toward a more sustainable future,” said Thomas Reardon, executive director of BIFMA. “These seating PCRs are the first in a series that will be developed for commercial furniture products.”

“The development of Product Category Rules for seating products helps to meet the increasing demand for transparency in environmental claims,” said Tom Bruursema, general manager of NSF International’s Sustainability division.

The NCSS has developed PCRs and American National sustainability standards for a wide range of product categories, including chemicals, commercial furnishings, flooring, building products and materials, and water treatment and distribution systems. For more information on NSF Sustainability, visit this link.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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