certifying

LEVEL is the multi-attribute sustainability standard
and accredited third-party certification programme
for the furniture industry

Basis of the certification

The certification is based on the sustainability requirements for office and non-domestic furniture for indoor use that were developed by FEMB, the European Office Furniture Federation, using as a basis the American standard ANSI/BIFMA e3 together with the European criteria for Green Public Procurement and the specifications of several voluntary ecolabels.

Organisations that choose to assess their furniture products using this standard can document their achievements by means of third-party verification of conformance.

Certification process

In the LEVEL certification process, not only the product but also the facility or facilities that produced it, as well as the organisation of the facility itself, are all scored according to the sustainability criteria in the four impact areas Materials, Energy & Atmosphere, Human & Ecosystem Health, and Social Responsibility.

For details on the impact areas see about level.

Requirements for product certification

In order to be LEVEL-certified, products must meet certain minimum requirements (prerequisites) in each impact area before going on to earn the credits necessary to achieve certification at a given conformance level. This process requires that manufacturers make a serious effort to measure their manufacturing process inputs and outputs, incorporate new material formulations, create design protocols, and formalize corporate actions aimed at putting social responsibility into practice.

points
prerequisites Product Facility Organisation totals
Materials 15 21 4 4 29
Energy & Atmosphere 3 5 13 4 22
Human & Ecosystem Health 3 18 13 0 31
Social Responsibility 2 0 2 10 12

Certifiers and certificates

Every certification body can apply for national accreditation to the sustainability standard according to ISO 17065 when it is subject to European Accreditation (EA) or when it works in the international framework of IAF MLA. Only accredited certification bodies are entitled to sign a certification mark license agreement with the standard owner FEMB. Four certification bodies have completed both steps and are thus authorized to issue LEVEL certificates.

Contracts necessary for certification

FEMB, the certification body and the manufacturer must agree on mutual contracts as the legal basis for use and maintenance of the LEVEL certification programme. The standard owner or his representative and the certification body must enter into a license agreement, and the certification body and the manufacturer must agree on a certification mark authorization for LEVEL. A third contract for programme participation between standard owner or his representative and the applicant is a prerequisite for the issue of certificates by the certification body.