Herman Miller demonstrates leadership in environmental stewardship through level® 3 certification

ZEELAND & ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Contract and residential furnishings provider Herman Miller is the first company certified by global public health and environmental organization NSF International to the highest level for sustainable furniture - BIFMA level® 3. Products certified to the level® program may satisfy state and federal purchasing requirements and earn points toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Certification to level® 3 demonstrates Herman Miller’s Aeron, Celle, Embody, Mirra, and SAYL task  seating; Setu multipurpose seating; and Caper stacking seating products all have achieved the highest level a product can reach under the BIFMA furniture sustainability standard.   The level® designation signifies that a product has been verified by an independent third party certifier, and the numeric marking 1, 2, or 3 indicates the threshold of certification it has achieved. The certification process includes a comprehensive and independent assessment of the environmental and social impacts of a product’s manufacturing process and provides benchmarks for continual improvement and innovation within the furniture industry.

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) partnered with NSF International to develop the consensus-based, multi-attribute ANSI/BIFMA e3: Furniture Sustainability Standard to harmonize sustainability standards for the office furniture industry and help distinguish environmentally-preferable furniture. The standard applies to all business and institutional furniture, including moveable walls, systems furniture, desking systems, casegoods, tables, seating and accessories, and materials and components manufactured by suppliers to furniture manufacturers. The level® program is the certification program based on the ANSI/BIFMA e3 standard and is administered by BIFMA. 

NSF International provides certification to the level® program through its NSF Sustainability division.  NSF Sustainability helps companies develop sustainable products, verify sustainable product claims, and develop standardized, objective methods of measuring sustainability. These services help instill marketplace confidence and promote acceptance of green products and services.

“With so many sustainable product claims currently flooding the market, purchasers of sustainable furniture and other products claiming to be sustainable are looking for real and verifiable support that a product really was produced sustainably,” said NSF Sustainability General Manager Tom Bruursema. “Reaching the highest level® certification demonstrates Herman Miller’s leadership and commitment to the environment, and their dedication to help their customers meet their sustainability goals.”

“We are committed to growing our level®-certified product offering in service to our customers’ ambitions for truly sustainable interiors," said Gabe Wing, Herman Miller’s Director of Environmental Health and Safety. "Given Herman Miller’s historic industry leadership in work seating, it’s appropriate that these designs have achieved the highest standard of sustainability.”

NSF International has certified several other Herman Miller product lines. The product lines certified at level® 2 include Canvas Office Landscape Private Office, Canvas Office Landscape Wall-Based, EthoSpace, Everywhere, Meredian, and Tu. The product lines receiving level® 1 certification include Ambi, Equa2, Ergon3, and Foray seating. Also receiving level® 1 certification are the Action Office, My Studio Environments, Passage, Resolve, and Series 5000 furniture systems, as well as the company’s Eames tables, and Avive tables and Teneo storage.

For more information on NSF Sustainability, visit nsfsustainability.org or contact Jeanette Halliday at 734-827-3804 or halliday@nsf.org.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with NSF Sustainability General Manager Tom Bruursema contact Greta Houlahan at +1 (734) 913-5723 or houlahan@nsf.org.

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About Herman Miller Inc.

Herman Miller works for a better world around you — with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $1.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2011. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2011, Herman Miller again received the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s top rating in its annual Corporate Equality Index and was also cited by FORTUNE as the “Most Admired” company in the contract furniture industry. Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.

About NSF International (NSF)

NSF International (nsf.org) has been testing and certifying products for safety, health and the environment since 1944. As an independent public health and safety organization, NSF’s mission is to protect human health and the environment through standards development, auditing, testing and certification for the food, water, build/construction, retail, consumer products, chemical and health science industries. Operating in more than 120 countries, NSF is committed to protecting human health worldwide and 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 to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. NSF also founded the National Center for Sustainability Standards, a national initiative to support the development of sustainability standard activities.

Additional NSF services include NSF Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR).

Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: (734) 913-5723
Email: houlahan@nsf.org

Ron Reeves
Herman Miller, Inc.
Phone: (616) 654-7238
Email: ron_reeves@hermanmiller.com