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12/18/2012

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NSF International Developing Product Category Rules (PCR) for Office Storage Products Enabling Reporting of Environmental Attributes



 

Product Category Rules provide science-based support to verify environmental product claims

ANN ARBOR, Mich.  –NSF International is collaborating with the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) to develop a Product Category Rule (PCR) for office storage products. This PCR will provide a science-based and internationally recognized method for reporting the environmental impact of office storage products including casegoods, files, cabinets, and other related products throughout their entire life cycle.

 

Product Category Rules 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. NSF International's Sustainability division provides EPD verification by confirming that the data was collected in accordance with the applicable PCR and meets all ISO requirements.

 

The office storage PCR will be established in accordance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025) through the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS). The NCSS will utilize an open consultative process to develop the PCR with participation from an expert panel of storage product manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, and end users. The NCSS has developed PCRs and American National sustainability standards for a wide range of product categories, including chemicals, commercial furnishings (e.g. seating), flooring, building products and materials, and water treatment and distribution systems.

 

“We are pleased to partner with NSF International on another Product Category Rule for office storage products. In addition to the recently developed commercial seating PCR, the PCR for office storage products will continue the work of both NSF International and BIFMA to create rigorous and science-based PCRs that will help the commercial furniture industry move toward a more sustainable future,” said Thomas Reardon, Executive Director of BIFMA.

 

“The office storage product PCR will enable office furniture manufacturers to conduct LCAs and publish EPDs that can help their buyers identify the products with preferred environmental profiles. This information is crucial in helping businesses and government agencies meet their greener purchasing goals,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability division.

 

For more information on NSF Sustainability, visit nsfsustainability.org or contact Dennis Gillan at 734-476-2543 or dgillan@nsf.org.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with NSF Sustainability General Manager Tom Bruursema, contact Kelly Nichols at knichols@nsf.org or 734-827-6850.

 

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

 

NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF has developed sustainability standards for product categories such as chemicals, building products and materials, and water quality. NSF works with leading regulators, scientists, engineers, public health and environmental health professionals, and industry representatives to develop these transparent, science-based standards, protocols, and product category rules. NSF Sustainability also provides environmental product declaration verification by confirming that the data was collected in accordance with the applicable product category rule.

 

Additional NSF services include Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems registration, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Chain of Custody (COC) certifications.

 

About BIFMA: 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’s role is to sponsor the development and refining of current and future standards, to educate on their importance and application, and to translate their necessary complexity into more easily implemented/understood formats. We also monitor the state of the industry, serve as a forum for member cooperation and collaboration, interact with international counterparts, and advocate for regulatory conditions that foster value and innovation.

 



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