Manufacturers of office furniture and of indoor building products such as flooring, wallcoverings, and paint often want to highlight the environmentally preferable features of their products. There are a number of ways for manufacturers to get these environmental messages to customers. Some of the claims a manufacturer may make are simple statements not in reference to a recognized standard or method. One example is, "Product contains no added formaldehyde." Another is to list the percentage of recycled content. Such claims are legitimate as long as they are not deceptive and are in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission's Green Guides to environmental marketing. Other indoor environmental quality claims may relate to a governmental regulations and to specific standards. For example, architectural paints and coatings are regulated in many major markets for their content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Manufacturers determine the VOC content by calculation or measurement and publish the values in grams of VOC per liter of paint on product labels and in product literature, thereby creating a manufacturer's self-declaration.

Customers, particularly architects and specifiers for building projects seeking USGBC LEED certification, also may be interested in the direct impacts of building products and furniture on indoor air quality, i.e., the release of VOCs from products when used in buildings. To demonstrate a product's acceptable indoor air quality performance, manufacturers are required to perform relatively complicated environmental chamber testing. In this case, the market expectation is that the tests be conducted by a third-party laboratory following a recognized standard. In the U.S., the relevant standards are the CDPH Standard Method V1.1 for building products and ANSI/BIFMA Standard Method M7.1 for office furniture. A manufacturer may use compliant test results as the basis of a self-declared claim for their product. In this case, the manufacturer is faced with the challenge of promoting the claim. The options are to place the claim on a product registry such as the one maintained by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools or to build and promote an in-house "green" brand.

Alternately, a manufacturer may decide to get the claim "certified" by a recognized third-party certification body. Certified claims typically involve the use of a certification mark on the product, at the point of sale, and/or in product literature. Certifiers also have on-line product databases where interested parties can obtain do[censored] entation providing evidence of the claim. One example is FloorScore certification for hard-surface flooring materials. Here, the resilient flooring industry association owns the brand and contracts with a third-party certifier to administer the program. Product certification, such as FloorScore, makes it easier for architects seeking the indoor environmental quality credit for USGBC LEED to identify compliant products and to assemble their do[censored] entation. Other developed countries follow similar environmental claims procedures for indoor products. A prominent example is the Blue Angel certification program in Germany, which is the oldest ecolabel in the World with over 10,000 listings.

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