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SFC revises Exemplary Manufacturer Requirements

Criteria include operations, product, outreach

The Sustainable Furnishings Council announced it has updated its Exemplary Manufacturer Requirements. The newly revised requirements "offer meaningful standards that acknowledge the achievements and guide the decisions of businesses committed to sustainability and healthful homes," according to a press release.

The Exemplary Manufacturer Requirements, which are available for review and public comment through the end of January 2014, comprise mandatory prerequisites and a certification evaluation that grants Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum status to compliant members. The document can be downloaded here. Comments should be directed to SFC Executive Director Susan Inglis at susan@sustainablefurnishings.org. Exemplary recognition is available to all SFC manufacturer members that meet the criteria specified.

"We've updated our requirements for recognizing manufacturers as Exemplary (at the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level) in order to streamline the process, yet without compromising rigor," Inglis said. "The requirements recognize our members' accomplishments and emphasize the most important third-party certifications that pertain to our industry. Ultimately, members who meet the mandatory requirements and complete our evaluation will save money and earn the recognition they deserve for the important certification investments they make."

SFC Exemplary Manufacturer Requirements are divided into three sections: Operations, which covers energy-use reduction and employee relations; Product, which includes materials choices and production processes; and Outreach, which spans marketing, education and other community outreach efforts. Companies receive recognition and earn credit points for meeting criteria within each section, including specific product attributes. Credit points are doubled for each item that is certified.

"SFC's Exemplary recognition is extremely important, and especially for manufacturers," Inglis said. "Like many other industries, the home furnishings sector needs to address the problems of climate crisis and toxic pollution, especially in our indoor environments. With our streamlined requirements and certification in place, our manufacturer members have clear guidelines to adhere to that can be used on a daily basis."

Exemplary recognition is also available for retailer members. Exemplary Retailer Requirements were adopted in 2011 and can be reviewed here.

SFC's membership requirements remain unchanged for 2014. All home furnishings companies that commit to sustainability are invited to join. For more information or to renew, contact Inglis at susan@sustainablefurnishings.org.

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