Sustainability Initiatives

BIFMA is proud of the work that the furniture industry has done to become more environmentally responsible and we are challenged to do more by the magnitude of the issues that society as a whole faces as we work toward a sustainable way of living on our planet.

BIFMA has developed standards and guidelines that will help office furniture manufactures and suppliers ensure that their business practices promote good environmental equilibrium, health, and human well-being.

ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard

The ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard includes criteria for measuring a product’s sustainability along the intersection of materials selection and usage; energy and atmosphere; human and ecosystem health; and social responsibility impacts.  For more information on the standard or to order click here.

The e3 Guidance Manual provides helpful suggestions, potential strategies, references, resources and other information to assist product manufacturers with credit compliance. The Guidance Manual includes the text of the standard itself, along with interpretations of various credits written by developers of the document. The Guidance Manual for the ANSI/BIFMA e3-2019 Furniture Sustainability Standard can be purchased by clicking here.  

Additionally, the “TRACI Look-Up Tool" is also available for sale from BIFMA. It is an Excel file that is useful for pursuing credits in Section 7 of the e3 Standard. It provides a quick way to determine if a chemical is listed in e3 Annex B and/or USEPA’s Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) 2011 dataset.  The list is sortable to assist with grouping chemicals by end-point classification.


In June 2009, BIFMA introduced LEVEL®, the sustainability certification program for furniture. The LEVEL mark attests that the product, the manufacturing facility, and the company responsible for the product brand, have been evaluated against the multi-attribute criteria of the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard by independent, third-party auditors. 

Life Cycle Assessment/Product Category Rule Development

BIFMA is actively creating product category rules (PCRs) for the furniture industry through an open development process engaging stakeholders from around the globe. These are the rules by which life cycle assessments (LCAs) should be performed in the office furniture industry and the resultant LCAs can be used to create environmental product declarations (EPDs) for publication and sharing with customers. Additional members of the committee are being sought to participate in this important work. Let us know if you are interested by contacting Brad Miller ( for additional information.

Disclaimer: Environmental product declarations made from different product manufacturers may not be directly comparable.  Specific studies conducted on a product or group of products by the manufacturer are not intended to make comparative assertions against another manufacturer(s) product(s).  The results presented in an EPD are made by a specific manufacturer in compliance with the guiding Product Category Rules (PCR), and reflect the specific data sources, data quality and potential additional product attributes for that product only.  These results and assumptions may not align with another manufacturer’s study to a degree that would support direct comparisons.   When reviewing results presented in an EPD, it is of utmost importance to fully review the attributes, assumptions and data used in the study; thus allowing for a clearer understanding of the results and how one manufacturer’s study may not be directly comparable to another’s study even for a similar product.

Emissions Standards

Our work on furniture emissions dates back to 1994, and resulted in a credible, open, balanced, consensus-based standard (ANSI/BIFMA X7.1-2011) and testing methods that provide a reasonable and cost-effective path for companies seeking to develop increasingly low emitting products. 

Sustainability Guidelines

Our Sustainability Guidelines, first published in 2005, provide a roadmap for businesses of all sizes as they establish or expand their environmental management system (EMS) and address the "Triple Bottom Line” of economy, environment, and social equity in their operations.