This is version 3.1i of GECA’s Furniture, Fittings, Foam and Mattresses (Level A).
Furniture, fitting, foam and mattress products form a significant proportion of items manufactured for use within residential, commercial and government environments and form a significant manufacturing sector in Australia.
Furniture transforms our homes and workplaces from empty rooms to inviting, functional spaces. But how often do we consider the environmental impact of the products that help us work, rest and play?
The manufacture, use, and disposal of furniture products can negatively impact our environment and health, depending on factors such as the choice of raw materials used, coatings, textiles, and adhesives. Manufacturers may also use hazardous treatments or manage their energy and water use poorly during production.
Developments in timber, alloy and metal, and plastic recycling have encouraged innovation in furniture and fitting design and manufacture, encouraging products that readily incorporate recycled materials and products with constituents that can be recycled into new products at the end of life. These products often equal or surpass traditional products in some aspects of strength, durability and function.
However, manufacturers can still significantly reduce sustainability impacts across these products’ entire life cycle. This standard refers to the manufacture of the products and their constituent materials, the period of actual use and disposal.
When a product is certified against GECA’s Furniture, Fittings, Foam and Mattresses (Level A) standard, consumers can be sure that the product has been assessed to meet environmental, human health and social impact criteria, while also proving that it performs as promised.
GECA certification removes doubt and confusion and makes identifying environmentally and socially preferable products easier. Products certified under this standard are recognised by WELL, ISCA and the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Performance tool.
The standard sets requirements that aim to provide a benefit by:
⚫️ avoiding the illegal harvest of wood and fibre for raw materials
⚫️ reducing the use and subsequent release of environmentally harmful substances to the environment at all stages of the product’s life cycle
⚫️ reducing the presence and release of substances harmful to human health
⚫️ ensuring workers and suppliers through the supply chain can expect fair pay, equal opportunity, and a safe working environment
⚫️ encouraging recovery, reuse, recycling and responsible disposal of unwanted product and packaging
On 15 March 2021, in collaboration with Edge Environment and the Global Product Stewardship Council, GECA was awarded a grant by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to tackle the issue of commercial office furniture going to landfill. The group will use the funding to design a product stewardship scheme that will help reduce the estimated 30,000 tonnes of furniture – much of it in perfectly good condition – that ends up in Australia’s waste stream each year.Read More See all news
Green Star is Australia's trusted mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings, fitouts and communities. Choosing Green Star can help you save money, create a healthy place for people, minimise your environmental footprint and build a better future for us all.
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