On 24th April 2018 FIRA attended the latest FEMB technical committee meeting. The committee are responsible for the development of the FEMB Level scheme which has sought to start the process of harmonising the numerous environmental and sustainability schemes for office and non-domestic furniture by using existing materials to develop a sustainability certification scheme of its own for Europe.
The “level” certification programme, recently accredited by DAKKs the German national accreditation body, follows the BIFMA scheme and proceeds along a similar path to provide a voluntary certification. It is designed to cover environmental and social sustainability of companies’ products. This does not substitute national certifications but indicates a common European path to be followed and a common methodology to present the environmental characteristics of a product in a clear, easily understood manner with a common language that gives end users the ability to make easy comparisons.
The report reveals that a certification body has been approved by DAKKs and some companies are very close to having the first products certified under the level certification scheme. A number of challenges remain, not least the medium term funding of the certification scheme and how to promote its specification with architects, procurement teams and leading building certification schemes.
The report also outlines some of the experiences of those seeking certification of their products and some of the questions that have arisen as a result of the certification process.”