Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has released the updated and significantly revised versions of its two furniture standards. Both standards have been officially recognised by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), with the Furniture, Fittings, Foam and Mattresses standard at Level A and the Furniture and Fittings standard at Level B.
“Currently, more than three-quarters of all GECA certified products fall under one of the two furniture standards,” said GECA’s Standards and Technical Manager, Shaila Divakarla. “It’s great to see so many furniture and fittings manufacturers on the market who are committed to making products with lower environmental, health and social impacts – and we’re very excited to see a growing interest in certification from mattress manufacturers.”
Key changes to the standards include:
- Inclusion of mattresses within the scope of the Furniture, Fittings & Foam (Level A) standard
- Improved alignment between both furniture standards and simplification of wording for some criteria
- Changes to material requirements for fabrics and adhesives
- Addition of a new criterion addressing issues of supply chain and human rights
- Organotin (tin) catalysts no longer allowed
- Changed requirements regarding product warranty periods in Level A standard
- Stricter requirements for emissions, especially for formaldehyde in the Level A standard
- New requirements for Documents of Conformance in the Level B standard
The manufacture, use and disposal of furniture products can have a negative environmental impact caused by anything from the choice of raw materials used, to coatings, textiles, and adhesives. Manufacturers may use hazardous treatments, or may be managing their energy and water use poorly during production. GECA certification demonstrates that a product meets strict criteria for environmental, health and social impacts.
The updated standards have been developed following a public comment period and consultations with industry professionals on the Technical Advisory Group.