The EPA suggests that indoor air quality is often 10 times more polluted than outdoor air quality. We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, therefor purchasing furniture that’s good for the environment and our personal health is important. Furniture can be major polluters of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in our homes. (VOCs) are a large group of chemicals that are found in many products we use to build and maintain our homes, and are also found in toxic furniture stains.
Green furniture companies are growing in numbers in response to the sustainable living movement, producing furniture that is sustainable and eco-friendly for the eco-conscious consumer. They are based on the closed-loop cycle of recycling. The goal is to design furniture that can be continually reused, disassembled and then reused again to reduce the environmental impact.
This certification label guide will help you identify sustainable furniture.
Forest Stewardship Council FSC
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)certification is considered the “gold standard” designation for wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable.
The Rainforest Alliance green frog is a symbol of environmental, social, and economic sustainability and can be found on farm and forest products around the world.
GREENGUARD Gold Certification
GREENGUARD Gold Certification are scientifically proven to meet some of the world’s most rigorous, third-party chemical emissions standards for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde or phthalates.
Cradle To Cradle
Cradle to Cradle Certification (CM) is a third-party sustainability label that requires achievement across multiple attributes:
* use materials that are safe for human health and the environment through all use phases
* product and system design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting
* use of renewable energy
* efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production
* company strategies for social responsibility.
LEED Certification by USGBC
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Furniture companies can work with the Interior Design and Construction section of LEED to earn green certifications.
MAS Certified Green
With MAS Certified Green® label consumers can readily identify interior construction products, furniture, and furnishings designed and manufactured to reduce chemical emissions to the indoor environment, also knows as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be harmful to your health. MAS helps businesses enter the green market and reduce the impact that products have on the environment. Only products that pass stringent MAS testing criteria can display the MAS Certified Green logo.
Green Seal Certified
Green Seal is a non-profit organization and provides U.S. based companies with environmental certification programs. The Green Seal certification equals environmental and health excellence and guarantees good performance. It stands for protecting human health, reducing toxic pollution and waste, resources used responsibly, minimizing climate change and ozone depletion, meaning the manufacturing process leaves as little impact on the environment as possible.
LEVEL is an evaluation and certification system for environmentally-preferable and socially-responsible office furniture. It addresses sustainability from multiple perspectives and takes into account a company’s social actions, energy usage, material selection and human and ecosystem health impacts. It was created to deliver the most transparent and open means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of furniture products in the built environment. The LEVEL program has three performance tiers; LEVEL 1, 2, and 3. The higher the number, the more criteria considered and met.
Certified B Corporation
B Corps meet the highest standards of verified environmental and social performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. It’s the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance.
MADE SAFE® is a nontoxic seal for products we use every day, from baby to personal care to household and beyond. They certify that products you use on your body and in your home are made with safe ingredients not known or suspected to harm human health.
Climate Neutral Certified
Climate Neutral is an independent nonprofit organization working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world by putting a price on carbon emissions. With Climate Neutral, the entirety of our carbon footprint is measured and verified, from raw material production and shipping to manufacturing and delivery.
Global Organic Textile Standard GOTS
The Global Organic Textile Standard is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.
Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX labels and certificates confirm that every component of the article, i.e. every thread, button and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human ecological terms. In other words, it’s free from allergenic dyes, pesticides, chlorinated phenols, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and chloro-organic carriers, and are not harmful to the skin.