Environmental and Quality Certifications and What They Mean
E1 GRADE MELAMINE:
In 2000, the European Panel Industry set forward a series of standards regulating the amount of free formaldehyde an HDF, MDF or plywood panel can off-gas. In order to qualify for the standard, manufacturers must submit samples of the panels they produce to independent laboratories. These laboratories put the panel samples in a chamber and measure the amount formaldehyde emitted into the air in parts per million (ppm). Depending on the amount of formaldehyde measured panels may be classified as E0, E1, or E2. E0 is the classification with the lowest level of formaldehyde, E2 the highest. Mills that submit samples that exceed the standard for E2 are not classified. In order to label a product in accordance with the European regulations the manufacturer must submit panels for regular independent testing to an accredited laboratory. After testing the lab will issue the manufacturer with a certification.
BIFMA: (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association)
BIFMA is the not‐for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, BIFMA has been the voice of the commercial furniture industry.
Our industry’s service to our customers – providing healthy, comfortable, and productive workspaces – rests on an infrastructure of engineering and materials standards. These standards, founded on centuries of craft and enhanced by ever-advancing science, embody the best of our knowledge on safety, ergonomics, and sustainability.
BIFMA sponsors the development and refining of standards, educates on their importance and application, and translates their necessary complexity into more easily understood and implemented formats. BIFMA promotes sustainability throughout the life cycle of commercial furniture. BIFMA offers statistical and educational resources to our members and the public and reach out to regulators, consumers, and international partners to foster value and innovation.
BIFMA Standards Overview:
Furniture Comfort, Safety, Sustainability, and Durability Standards. Consumers can take the comfort, safety, and durability of their workplace furniture for granted in large part because of the voluntary standards adopted by the business and institutional furniture industry.
Chairs that support us securely day after day, casters that roll smoothly year after year, drawers that retain their shape even when jam-packed — these are some of the foundation stones of a safe and civilized workplace. BIFMA sponsors the development and maintenance of the standards behind these quiet achievements.
The Greenguard Environmental Institute is an industry-independent organisation that aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.
GREENGUARD Certification is part of UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories). GREENGUARD Certification helps manufacturers create--and helps buyers identify--interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used. All GREENGUARD Certified products are listed in the UL SPOT Sustainable Product Database.
GREENGUARD Gold Certification (formerly known as GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification) offers stricter certification criteria, considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals (such as children and the elderly), and ensures that a product is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities. It is referenced by both The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Building Rating System.
AFRDI: (Australian Furnishing Research and Development Institute)
FURNTECH – AFRDI
The Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute is an independent not-for-profit technical organisation providing standards, testing, product certification and research for buyers and sellers of furniture.
Furntech-AFRDI is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) as a public testing service compliant with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005.
By purchasing furniture items tested by Furntech-AFRDI you can be sure that:
Products are fit-for-purpose; You have bought a quality product; and you are contributing towards meeting duty of care requirements by specifying certified product (after testing, manufactures guarantee to maintain original quality for typically 3 years).