Get the mark
The market for green goods is set to double between now and 2020. Along with the necessity for a long term global vision, there is also a growing need from consumers to live with objects and products which are safe, reliable and healthy for themselves and the people around them.
The ‘NF Environnement Furniture’ mark enables you to differentiate your business from others in a rapidly growing area. The latest studies indicate that an environmental approach is being widely demanded from business and government contract buyers, as well as consumers themselves.
Sustainable growth targets associated with the profound change in lifestyles and consumption are responding to initial business investments. An environmental approach is now being used by many businesses, both as a symbol of societal commitment and as a powerful sales and marketing tool.
There are two official eco-labels in France which are both issued by AFNOR Certification.
- THE FRENCH ECOLABEL (NF Environnement Furniture)
- THE EUROPEAN ECOLABEL (the small flower)
The French ecolabel ‘NF Environnement’ is a voluntary certification mark. Its variation ‘NF Environnement Furniture’ is issued by the FCBA under mandate from AFNOR. Businesses wishing to obtain it can make a request via the FCBA.
NF Environnement Furniture concerns all sectors for furniture:
Office furniture: seating, tables, desks, cupboards…
Educational furniture: chairs and tables, black/whiteboards and notice boards…
Institutional furniture: wardrobes, beds, benches, reception furniture, catering furniture...
Technical furniture: lockers, workbenches, serving trolleys…
Furniture for the home: kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms…
To learn about the difference between these two marks, please go to the ‘NFE files’ section where there is an article providing further information.
To get “NF Environnement Ameublement”, the furniture pieces need to be conform to the tests (EN standard, NF standard…), but the factory shall be able to reproduce a constant quality. Then, you have environmental requirements concerning the process. For example, the factory does not release toxic substances in the soil or in the air…
get the rules of the standard
This mark is only applicable to good quality product.
The product (furniture) has to demonstrate its qualiy before it can pretend to the “NF Environnement Ameublement” certification.
This is a main difference between many “eco-label” which exist on the market, in which you can find environmental requirement without any performance of the product.
Before it can be certified, the piece of furniture has to reply to regulation. For example, a changing unit In France has to reply to the French decret “ Article de puericulture”.
The furniture piece should be sustainable; it is why the furniture shall pas performance test and has to be conform to technical requirements mentioned in the NF rules. A changing unit shall answer to the requirements of NF ameublement for domestic furniture.
The company shall also be able to reproduce the qualitly of the product, it is why, the company is audited by FCBA at least once a year.
The factory shall be either ISO 9000 or shall have a quality policy management. The company is also audited on this part as well as environmental policy. You can find specific criteria in the NF Environment ameublement rules.
Obtaining the mark proceeds in several stages, with the permanent help of a FCBA Auditor.
1. Lawful conformity :
This phase consists in checking the lawful conformity of the pieces of furniture. For that, one gathers the whole of the parts necessary to certification: bottom of proof. If the products were never tested as a preliminary, this stage also makes it possible to choose the products to be tested, to identify the possible critical points.
2. Checking of the performances :
Once acquired the lawful conformity of the products, their performances are checked, by conformity with technical specifications.
3. Conformity of the production
If the company is already certified ISO 9001 by a third party, the production is considered conforms, because the company is able to reproduce a manufacture of quality. If the company is not certified, it will have to carry out one quality Audit.
4. Environmental audit :
It is checked if the company respects the obligations with respect to the environment, but also its will to further go, by reducing its volume of waste for example.
DUTIES AND EXPENSES OF CERTIFICATION
FCBA establishes as a preliminary a bearing estimate on the duties to the mark, the expenses of audit and operation according to price list. The first year, the company is charged according to prorata temporis of the date of entry to the mark .
The framework of the label NF Environnement Ameublement have been updated at the end of July’15.
It will soon be downloadable in English versions.
For any further information, please contact us