ANN ARBOR and GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — NSF International, a global public health and safety organization, and the NSF Council of Public Health Consultants have appointed Norman Christopher as the joint committee chair of the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard.

NSF International is the standards writing body for the e3 standard and follows the American National Standards Institute process which requires a consensus body to ensure balanced input from public health, regulatory, industry and user stakeholders. The NSF International Council for Public Health Consultants (CPHC) provides final review and acceptance of standards. 

As chair, Mr. Christopher will manage the joint committee, communicate between the committee and the CPHC, adjudicate issues in the balloting and public review processes, and participate in appeals. 

Mr. Christopher is a sustainability leader who has also helped launch several sustainability initiatives and organizations including the Community Sustainability Partnership in Grand Rapids. He has been a voting member of this joint committee since 2007 and replaces Anne Saliers, who served as chair for three years and is resuming her role as a committee member, which she’s held since 2008.

“We are very happy to welcome Norman Christopher to the role of joint committee chair,” said Jessica Evans, Director of Standards at NSF International. “Norman shares NSF International’s commitment to protecting and improving human health and the environment, and his wealth of expertise in sustainability, business, and current role in academia will provide an invaluable combination of experience in his new role.”

“We are honored to have such great leadership to help guide the ANSI/BIFMA e3Furniture Sustainability Standard,” said Brad Miller, Director of Advocacy and Sustainability for the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association. “Norman has a wide perspective gained from his experiences in academia, government and the business world. His expertise, as well as that of the entire joint committee, collectively benefits the commercial furniture industry in development of a strong and credible sustainability standard.”

Mr. Christopher is the Executive Director for the Office of Sustainability Practices at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and the author of Sustainability Demystified! - A Practical Guide for Business Leaders and Managers (Principia Media, 2012). He is also a columnist and contributor for monthly articles in leading periodicals and journals including Sustaining Michigan: Metropolitan Policies and Strategies. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Seidman College of Business at GVSU.

Mr. Christopher currently serves on several boards and advisory groups including the City of Grand Rapids Sustainability Advisory Team, Seeds of Promise, the Michigan Chemistry Council, the Grand Rapids Community Sustainability Partnership and Valley City Sign.

Prior to his current position at Grand Valley State University, he held executive management roles for 25 years and helped improve business performance at Dow Chemical, Olin Corporation, Lubrizol Corporation and Haviland Enterprises. 

Mr. Christopher is a past chairman of the Family Owned Business Council and a 2000 graduate of the Leadership Grand Rapids Class. He was also appointed to serve on Governor Granholm’s Michigan Climate Action Council and the United States Department of Commerce’s Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee. 

For more information on NSF Sustainability, visit nsfsustainability.org or contact Vanessa Gaggo at 734.827.5668 or sustainability@nsf.org

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with NSF International’s Director of Standards Jessica Evans, contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at 734-418-6624 or media@nsf.org. To schedule an interview with Norman Christopher, contact Grand Valley State University Communications Specialist Leah Twilley at twilleyl@gvsu.edu.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and commercial 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 create more sustainable 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.

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.

At BIFMA, we sponsor the development and refining of standards, explain their importance and application, and translate their necessary complexity into more easily understood and implemented 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.