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.